- Title: JAPAN: THREE TENORS STAGE CONCERT TO MARK WORLD CUP FINAL
- Date: 27th June 2002
- Summary: YOKOHAMA, JAPAN (JUNE 27, 2002) (REUTERS) PEOPLE ARRIVING FOR CONCERT
- Embargoed: 12th July 2002 13:00
- Location: YOKOHAMA, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA550MG8AUIWAI3C9WGSOHEEEI4
- Story Text: The Three Tenors -- Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti -- sang to an excited crowd of thousands in Japan on Thursday to mark the final of the World Cup soccer tournament at the weekend.
Nearly 10,000 people, many dressed to the nines, packed the Yokohama Arena on a rainy night, with some paying as much as 120,000 yen ($1,000) for the pleasure.
"It was such a great concert. I enjoyed it a lot. I've being to all kinds of concert but I really enjoyed it. I've never been impressed like this before," said 60 year old housewife Sachiko Arai.
A "Three Tenors" concert has been a World Cup institution since 1990, and classical music fans were relieved to hear earlier this week that announcements that this concert would be the last such by the three may be premature.
Germany meets Brazil on Sunday in Yokohama for the final match of the tournament.
Speculation had swirled that Pavarotti's career might be nearing its end after laryngitis forced him to cancel two performances at the last minute in New York last month, and on Thursday his voice sometimes seemed a bit hoarse.
But Pavarotti has said that he will not retire until his 70th birthday late in 2005.
The Three Tenors started singing together for the 1990 World Cup in Rome to celebrate the recovery of Jose Carreras from leukemia. All three also happen to love football.
Culture-crazy football fans -- and others -- were mad enough about the concert that virtually all 10,000 tickets for the concert at the Yokohama Arena sold out, despite prices starting at 10,000 yen ($83).
Thursday's performance included the world premiere of a new medley by the three, as well as a number of arias not heard before in Japan. Traditional Japanese and Korean songs were slated for the encore.
Of the three, Pavarotti has faced the roughest time of late, battling health problems and sadness at the death of his parents, both of whom passed away in the last six months.
He also was lambasted by the U.S. media after disappointing a theatre full of fans at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York last month with a last-minute cancellation.
"The Fat Man Won't Sing," said one publication.
Even his national team, Italy, has let him down by failing to make it to the final stages of the World Cup.
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