The Three Tenors – A Defining Concept in Popular Classical Music

The Three Tenors


Well established in the music industry, Christopher Roberts has held responsibilities as Universal Music Group International president and guided some of the top classical performers and composers worldwide. Prior to his role at Universal Music, Christopher Roberts gained leadership experience with PolyGram Records and managed artists such as Andrea Bocelli and The Three Tenors.

Composed of Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, and Placido Domingo, the concept of The Three Tenors dates back to 1990, when the trio performed at a special Zubin Mehta-conducted concert at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. Pavarotti later noted that they had been asked to perform together many times, but had always declined.

This successful performance did not lead to any immediate commitments, but in 1994 the three stars again came together with Zubin Mehta and regaled a crowd of more than 50,000 with a night of operatic standards, traditional ballads from Naples, and light pop fare. The broadcast from Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles took place the day before the World Cup final between Italy and Brazil and reached as many as a billion people across the globe.

This performance launched a pop-culture phenomenon that changed the face of classical music. Each performer received $1 million for the single Los Angeles performance, as well as royalties. When The Three Tenors went on the road two years later, they performed to sold-out crowds worldwide and cemented the legacy of one of the most enduring trios ever.


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