Carreras to perform in Bermuda

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NEW YORK -- An outdoor concert by tenor Jose Carreras on April 4 will be the first event of a two-year celebration leading up to Bermuda's 500th anniversary in 2005.

Why a two-year celebration? It turns out that research suggests that Spanish navigator Juan de Bermudez actually discovered the island in 1505 rather than 1503 as previously thought.

During a press briefing here, Karl Hofer, founder of KH International, Rye Brook, N.Y., a special-event organizer, took credit for recommending Carreras as the celebrity to kick off the quincentennial, with the approval of Bermuda tourism officials. Carreras is a native of Barcelona, Spain, and has a worldwide following of opera fans, Hofer said.

Deanna Wade, assistant director of product development for the Bermuda Department of Tourism, said Carreras' presence will help to underscore that Bermuda is more than "a sun and sand" destination. The island is "rich in cultural heritage," she said.

Other high-profile musical and cultural performances are planned as part of the quincentennial, Wade said.

The Carreras concert will begin at 8 p.m. at the Bermuda Maritime Museum at the Royal Naval Dockyard, where seating will be expanded from the usual capacity of 2,000 to 3,650 because of the anticipated attendance.

In the event of rain, the concert will be postponed to April 6, Hofer said.

In addition to Hofer's firm, the event is being organized by a Bermuda concern, Triangle Enterprises.

The preferred travel partners are Corniche Travel Group of West Hollywood, Calif., and Panopera Concert Tours of Vienna.

U.S. tour operators also will have access to tickets, Hofer said. The recommended package is five nights for U.S. visitors and six nights for Europeans, he said.

Tickets will go on sale Dec. 1, with prices ranging from $100 to $200.

Hofer estimated that about 800 seats would be filled by Americans, up to 600 by Europeans and the rest by Bermuda residents and visitors from other countries.

Carreras said the concert will mark his first visit to Bermuda and his repertoire will include selections from "Carmen," "La Boheme" and "Tosca."

For information, contact Corniche Travel Group, (800) 852-4417; e-mail [email protected] or the Bermuda Department of Tourism, (800) BERMUDA (for a tour operator list).

The Web site is located at www.bermudatourism.com.

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