Friday, September 07, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti RIP

It is rare that one comes along who veritably defines his profession. Luciano Pavarotti was such a man.

Pavarotti was, in Operatic terms, an Italian Tenor. Close your eyes and think of that term; can any other image come to mind other than his bearded, cherubic face?

More than the special qualities of his voice, more than the range and the pop-culture duets, larger than the cultured il Divo persona—his passion for the music he sang so well is still unmatched. Find a video of Pavarotti singing the aria Nessun Dorma, from Puccini’s opera Turnadot (available on YouTube). Watch, upon completion of that magnificent and instantly recognizable piece as the rapture of the music itself falls across his face. We are moved equally by the quality of the performance and by Pavarotti’s passion for the music itself. It’s as if Giacomo Puccini wrote the piece just for him.

While most opera performers with lesser gifts cloister themselves away, Pavarotti was, in his own way, accessible to the masses. Perhaps it was his modest upbringing outside of Modena Italy that made him so. He sang with Beverly Sils and with Michael Bolton—with Placido Domingo and Aretha Franklin—with Jose Carreras and with Bono. Some will call attention to his obvious excesses and occasional scandals, but for today, let us only remember the music. And what truly great music it was!

The final line of Nessun Dorma translates “Vanish, night! Set, stars! Set, stars! At dawn, I will win! I will win! I will win!” Even in death, Luciano Pavarotti’s star will not set and we have all won by virtue of his life’s work.

Luciano Pavarotti, died September 6th, 2007, at 71. RIP.

Be well,

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