Britpopera for Three Tenors

The Three Tenors are being urged to sing rock songs by the Britpop heroes Oasis when they appear in Britain in July.

The agency handling publicity for the Wembley concert has suggested to the Three Tenors' European management that this would help attract a youthful rock audience.

Last night, a spokesman for Oasis said they would be "highly chuffed". "The group has a minimal interest in opera but Bonehead [the rhythm guitarist] might listen to the Three Tenors, possibly with a bottle of wine, because he is quite cultured."

The Oasis oeuvre could prove troublesome for the big three. The songs of Noel and Liam Gallagher, the Manchester brothers who front the band, have the occasional Lennon-McCartney derivative "top C" which Placido Domingo has publicly said is not his favourite note. And the title track of their latest album - (What's The Story) Morning Glory? - has a distinctly baritone refrain.

The concert by Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras at Wembley in July will be the last concert of their world tour and the last the three will ever give together, they say. It is already certain to gross pounds 200m, as much as many blockbuster films, and more than any entertainment tour ever, including those by supergroups such as the Rolling Stones. Only 3,000 out of the 50,000 tickets for Wembley remain unsold.

The Three Tenors are understood to want to sing more pop music, to recreate the success of "Nessun Dorma" with a teenage audience at the time of the 1990 World Cup. Luciano Pavarotti will shortly announce he will sing in a concert alongside Elton John and Sting to raise money for the orphans of Yugoslavia. He has already recorded with Bono, of U2. Carreras is also keen to appear more with non-classical singers.

The marriage of grand opera and Britpop is a slightly more radical prospect. However, Mark Borkowski, who is handling publicity for the British concerts, has spoken with the Tenors' management in Los Angeles and recommended that an Oasis number would give the concert a high profile among the young in Britain.

He said: "There is a considerable willingness, particularly from Pavarotti and Carreras to do some pop. Pavarotti will be singing with Elton John and Sting, and we all know he is is a great believer in breaking down barriers between supposedly high and low art in music."

Leading article, page 13

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