An email just arrived.. with a simple note: "This is a nice story... maybe it should be in "The Spirit" and I agree, so here is the story:
This is a story that perhaps few people have heard…
It’s about two of three tenors – Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and José Carreras who stirred the world through their singing together.
Even those who’ve never visited Spain, know of the rivalry between Catalanes and Madrileños, since the Catalanes are fighting for their autonomy from a Madrid dominated Spain. It so happens that, Placido Domingo is Madrileño and José Carreras is Catalán.
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.
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 that…”