In Memoriam: Luciano PavarottiThis week the opera world lost the closest thing it has to a rock star: Luciano Pavarotti. Considered by many the greatest tenor since Caruso, Pavarotti's god-given voice, ability to sail through cadenzas with ease and seemingly tireless ability to hit high Cs became the wonder and envy of other tenors. Known for his gift with the Italian language, Luciano became the quintessential Italian tenor with roles by Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini as his specialties. His rise to stardom had as much to do with his vocal ability as it did his affable personality. He is one of the few opera stars who achieved success as a cross over artist appealing to a much wider audience through his Three Tenors series of concerts with Placido Domingo and Jose Careras and charitable concerts with the likes of Sting and Elton John.
As a young voice student stumbling my way through the requisite "24 Italian Songs and Arias" my voice teacher advised "Only listen to Luciano--no one else." He was an inspiration to me then and remains so. He was quoted as having said "I think a life in music is a life beautifully spent and this is what I have devoted my life to." Pavarotti died of the devestating disease of pancreatic cancer near his home in Modena, Italy. He was 71.
Labels: In Memoriam