Three Tenors Christmas

Three Tenors Christmas

Sun, 12/06/2009 - 8:00pm

Plácido Domingo, the late Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras

Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti sing favorite songs and carols from around the world.

PBS reprises a holiday favorite with the Three Tenors — José Carreras, Plácido Domingo and the late Luciano Pavarotti. The Three Tenors Christmas, airing airing Sunday, December 6 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable1011 and 11), captures a festive concert performance that was recorded live in 1999 in Vienna’s Konzerthaus. The Three Tenors Christmas marked the first time these noted singers sang holiday music together.

As they did in their legendary stadium concerts, the three superstar tenors share the spotlight here, singing favorite songs and carols from around the world. Steven Mercurio conducts the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Gumpoldskirchner Spatzen Children’s Choir.

Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti are still opera’s three most famous singers; as a trio they enjoyed phenomenal success. Their concerts enjoyed a popularity that transcended musical genres, particularly in the concerts celebrating each of the World Cup Soccer finals in the summers of 1990 in Rome, 1994 in Los Angeles and 1998 in Paris. Recordings and videos of each of those concerts sold in the millions internationally, inspiring annual tours by the Three Tenors to stadium venues all over the world.

In The Three Tenors Christmas, they are heard together on seasonal favorites that include “O Tannenbaum,” “White Christmas,” “Amazing Grace,” “Silent Night,” “Dormi o Bambino,” “Susani,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Winter Wonderland,” “La Virgen Lava Pañales” and “Feliz Navidad.” The three also sing arrangements of lullabies by Johannes Brahms and Richard Strauss; John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)”; and “Ave Maria, Dolce Maria,” a song Pavarotti wrote with Vittoriano Benvenuti.

The Three Tenors Christmas also features duets: Domingo and Pavarotti share the stage in “O Holy Night,” Carreras and Pavarotti perform “Adeste Fideles” and Carreras and Domingo sing “Carol of the Drum.” Solo presentations include Pavarotti’s “Tu Scendi dalle Stelle,” Domingo’s “Un Nuevo Siglo (written by his son Plácido Domingo Jr.) and Carreras’ “Pregarìa (El Can de L’Ànima a la Verge).”