Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2005]
This is a story that perhaps few people have heard ... it's about two of three tenors
For political reasons, in 1984, Carreras and Domingo became enemies. Being that they were very popular and much sought after around the world, both stated in their contracts that they would perform only if the other was not invited.
In 1987, Carreras met up with an enemy more implacable than his rival Placido Domingo. He was taken by surprise with a terrible diagnosis: leukemia!!
His fight against cancer was a painful one. He was subjected to numerous treatments, besides having a bone marrow transplant and blood transfusions that forced him to travel to the United States once a month. Unable to work under these conditions, though he possessed a considerable fortune, the high cost of these trips and medical treatments depleted his finances. When at the end of his financial ability, he discovered a foundation in Madrid, the sole purpose of which was the support of treatment for the sufferers of leukemia. Thanks to the support from the "Hermosa" foundation, Carreras conquered the disease and returned to singing.
Once again he attained to an elevated and deserved status and attempted to join the foundation. Reading their by-laws, he discovered that the founder, leading contributor and president of the foundation, was Placido Domingo. He later found out that Placido had originally formed this organization to help him with his treatment, but had chosen to remain anonymous in order to not humiliate him in accepting help from his "enemy".
But the most moving part of this story is their encounter ...
Surprising Placido at one of his performances in Madrid, Carreras interrupted the event and humbly, knelt at his feet, asked him forgiveness and publicly thanked him. Placido helped him up and with a big hug they sealed the beginning of a great friendship. In an interview with Placido Domingo, a reporter asked him why he had created the "Hermosa foundation" at a time when, besides benefiting an "enemy," he had helped the only other artist that was his competition.
His answer was short and definite: "We cannot afford to lose a voice like
This is a true story of human kindness and should serve as an example and
Origins: José Carreras has been something of a punchline to American comedians, jokingly referred to as the "other guy" in the group of opera stars who have performed together as The Three Tenors
José Carreras highly successful singing career was derailed
José's experience led him to found the José Carreras International Leukaemia Foundation (JCILF) in 1988, a charitable organization that helps to fund leukemia research and match bone marrow donors with recipients.
In 1988, he founded the José Carreras International Leukaemia Foundation, a charity which gives financial support to leukemia research and the registration of bone marrow donors.
Aside from the fact of Carreras' battle with leukemia and his eventual recovery, there is little truth to be found in the glurgy "Two Tenors" tale reproduced at the head of this page. José Carreras and Plácido Domingo were not bitter enemies with mutual non-peformance clauses in their contracts, and Carreras did not "conquer" his illness through the help of a "Hermosa Foundation" anonymously founded by Plácido Domingo himself. A "Hermosa Foundation" for leukemia treatment does not exist, and Carreras' recovery was due primarily to the skill of doctors in Barcelona and at Seattle's FHCRC (the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, named for Seattle native Fred Hutchinson, a major league baseball pitcher and manager who succumbed to cancer in 1964 at age 45).
The web site for the José Carreras International Leukaemia Foundation also has a page specifically refuting this tale, on which they note:
Moreover, Mr. José Carreras has a special interest in stating that friendship, profound admiration, and mutual respect have always presided his relationship with