This evening the President of the Generalitat, Artur Mas, highlighted the "generosity" Josep Carreras has demonstrated with his country. "He has always exercised this generosity in any circumstance or condition, even in the moments when any comment made can be turned against you” noted the President, “which is also an act of courage in itself, but above all, it is an act of commitment to Catalonia".
This is how the Chief Executive expressed himself to tenor Josep Carreras during the Parliament’s Medal of Honour award ceremony. In the leading days up to the Catalan National Day, the President also made it clear that he hoped others would follow the example set by Josep Carreras “so that many other josep carreras can meet the expectations during these decisive moments a country can have".
The ceremony, was also attended by the President of the Catalan Parliament, Núria de Gispert; Professor Ciril Rozman of the University of Barcelona and journalist Xavier Bosch. The latter, during his speech, made reference to Josep Carrera’s advice in the Scala of Milan, “tieni duro” (do not give in, resist). President Mas also made reference to the expression, stating “today we have a different interpretation, which is the determination our country has and should have, which also goes for all our institutions, beginning with the Generalitat”.
In the same rhetoric Artur Mas also made reference to the same words used by the tenor in his acceptance speech, ‘live and let live’ in reference to Catalonia’s right to be consulted on. The President assured that in “the notion of ‘live and let live’ there is a certain attitude implied; and just as important as this attitude, is the determination and firmness in ones convictions and objectives when expressing one’s will and when addressing ourselves to others”.
President Mas regarded Carreras as the example of what should be the “core attitude in our country during these decisive and transcendent moments where Catalonia is risking so much”, calling for the same determination “we must all have and which in the upcoming days, weeks and months we must be able to apply”.
In addition to this generosity with the country, the Head of Government also highlighted the "generosity and humility" of Josep Carreras, both in the world of music and culture as with other human beings, making a special reference to the creation of his foundation in the fight against Leukaemia.
In July, the Parliament committee unanimously approved that the Medal of Honour be awarded to Josep Carreras for his “remarkable artistic career” and his “civic activity with its profound social impact carried out by The Josep Carreras Against Leukaemia Foundation (Fundació Josep Carreras contra la Leucèmia), founded a quarter of a century ago”. The committee also noted that "with his talent and experience, Josep Carreras has projected the values of effort, excellence and solidarity across the world".
The ceremony was attended by a wide representation of the Government of Generalitat and other parliamentary groups, the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias and representatives of social, civic, cultural and economic entities. The evening also included a performance by the Chamber Choir of the Liceu Conservatory (Cor de Cambra del Conservatori del Liceu), interpreting several pieces and closing with the national anthem of Catalonia.