Album: Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti, The Original Three Tenors: 20th Anniversary Edition (Decca)

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The Independent Culture

The first Three Tenors Concert held on the eve of the World Cup Final in Rome 1990 was the event – and the brand – which booted classical singing from its niche into the cultural mainstream.

Widely reviled for what classical snobs regard as the populist dumbing-down of their pastime, "The Thirty Quid" remains by far the biggest-selling classical album of all time. Its gusto and good humour, combined with the inarguable quality of the performances, guarantee one's enjoyment. But despite dozens of imitations, where is this generation's serious successor? And who will be alongside Bocelli in it?

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