"For Plšcido [Domingo] and myself to do something would betray the memory of Luciano. I don't think that would be ethical," the 61-year-old Carreras said in Sydney, where he is giving two concerts this weekend at the Opera House with Australian soprano Emma Matthews.
The Three Tenors franchise was born at the 1990 World Cup soccer finals in Italy, where Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras made a joint appearance with conductor Zubin Mehta at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. The performance was intended to be a one-off benefit to welcome Carreras, recently recovered from leukemia, back to the stage. But the program of favorite opera arias and show tunes proved wildly popular with audiences (live and on television) and with record buyers. The Three Tenors went on to give an extended series of stadium concerts on five continents through the 1990s and onward, earning up to $1 million each per performance; their live recordings sold so well that they arguably changed the entire classical recording industry, leading the executives of major-label conglomerates to expect unrealistically high sales volume from their classical divisions.
The last planned Three Tenors performance was to have been on June 4, 2005, in Monterrey, Mexico, though Pavarotti pulled out at the last minute due to laryngitis and the concert went ahead without him.