Tenor Tells How Illness Changed His Life

José Carreras Performs at Opening of Rimini Meeting

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RIMINI, Italy, AUG. 25, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Renowned Spanish tenor José Carreras performed for the opening of the Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples and gave a testimony about his life and struggle to survive leukemia.

Carreras on Sunday sang excerpts from Verdi, Bellini and Donizetti that were commented on in the writings of Monsignor Luigi Giussani, founder of the Church movement Communion and Liberation, and read by Italian actor Franco Branciaroli.

The weeklong meeting in Rimini is organized by Communion and Liberation.

In an interview published in the Italian newspaper Avvenire that day, the tenor said that «today more than ever, music can help people to reflect on life. It can be an instrument of dialogue which makes possible the meeting of cultures.»

«I say it after the wounds that have left their imprint in my country, Spain,» he said, «when seeing this world in which violence and hatred are so common.»

Carreras revealed that in October he will participate in a pilgrimage of sick Frenchmen and Spaniards in the Marian shrine of Lourdes.

«I will give a concert. It is a great joy for me, a unique experience, to enter into contact with suffering and faith,» he said.

Regarding the time when he was sick, Carreras said it was «a difficult period, times that were hard to surmount that have left an indelible mark on me.»

«I had the good fortune to be cured from leukemia and was able to see the positive side of pain,» he said. «Today I can say that I have changed, that I have modified the scale of priorities in life.»

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