"Ladies and gentlemen from all over the world, welcome to this brand new forum destined to all those opera lovers. It is my intention to create a cultural space to remember the great composers such as Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, as well as all the stars that walked through the most famous stages around the world like Caruso, Gigli, di Stefano, Pavarotti... I also intend this forum to be a debating space where readers can state their opinions, ideas, advises, likes and dislikes.

Through the last years opera has been losing popularity at the expense of more modern music, and though the heyday of the latter is a social and cultural worldwide phenomenon, it would be of great value to retrieve the transcendental meaning of opera in the history of man.

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, may the world take its seat, let the curtain raise, come up to the stage with me and be the performers of this experience..."


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti (Oct 12, 1935 - Sep 06, 2007)

When looking at this picture I cannot help it to feel a deep sadness for the loss of this great tenor. Certainly the world of opera is different without him.

Born in the outskirts of Modena, northern Italy, Pavarotti was the son of Adele Venturi and Fernando Pavarotti, a baker and singer that encouraged his son to take singing lessons. The early years were not easy for Luciano, his family had little money and lived in a two-room apartment. His first musical influences were his father's recordings featuring Beniamino Gigli, Tito Schipa and Enrico Caruso, but his true idol was Giuseppe di Stefano.

After graduating from the Scuola Magistrale, Pavarotti faced the dilemma of a carreer choice: he was interested in becoming a professional football goalkeeper. Finally, he let his love for music win out. Aware of the risks involved, his father gave his consent reluctantly. At the age of 19, Pavarotti began the serious study of music with Arrigo Pola and later on with Ettore Campogalliani, his mentors in belcanto repertoire.

Pavarotti made his debut in April 1961 as Rodolfo in Puccinni's La Bohème at the Teatro Municipale in Reggio Emilia. During the following years he performed several roles such as the Duca di Mantova in Rigoletto, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoore, Tebaldo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi and Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore. But it wasn't until February 1972 in the production of Donizetti's La fille du régiment at the Metropolitan Opera House that he had his major breakthrough with the nine high Cs in the signature aria. These performances earned him the title of "King of the High Cs".

During the 80s and 90s, Pavarotti recorded several duets with Eros Ramazzotti, Sting, Andrea Bocelli, U2 and Frank Sinatra. He formed "The Three Tenors" with Plácido Domingo and José Carreras in their first performance at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome conducted by Zubin Metha, which became the biggest selling classical record of all time. They subsequently sang at the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for the 1994 World Cup finals and at the Champs de Mars in Paris in 1998.

He married Adua Verona for 34 years and they had three daughters: Lorenza, Cristina and Giuliana. In December 2003 he married his second wife, Nicoletta Mantovani, with whom he had his fourth daughter Alice.

Pavarotti gave his last performace at the Met on March 2004, for which he received a 12-minute standing ovation for his role as Cavaradossi in Puccini's Tosca. On December, the same year, he announced a 40-city farewell tour. Despite of his retirement, on February 2006 Pavarotti sang Nessun Dorma at the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Turin, Italy. Unfortunately, the "Farewell Tour" was cancelled due to a pancreatic cancer diagnosed on July in that year.

On September 6, 2007 Terri Robson, Pavarotti's manager, wrote in an e-mail statement "The Maestro faught a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer [...] he remained positive until finally succumbing to the last stages of his illness.". Pavarotti's funeral was held in Modena Cathedral under the Roman Catholic Church's ritual and he rests in the Montale Rangote cemetery.

"I think a life in music is a life beautifully spent and this is what I have devoted my life to." - Luciano Pavarotti.

Personaly, I like to remember him like this, with a joyful expression on his face for the surrounding applause of the audience.

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