06 September 2007

A Maestro's Silenced Aria

While I am not the world's greatest opera fan by any stretch, it is with great sadness that I report the death of the great Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. This supremely gifted man, endowed with a voice that would send chills down your spine when in full chorus, died yesterday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer (and after a series of deteriorating health issues over the recent years).

I became a fan of his, believe it or not, after watching his Three Tenors series of concerts (with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras) on PBS some years back, during one of their fundraising drives. I was sick and refusing to move from the couch that particular weekend, and all I really remember was these three men just wowing me out of a subconscious state. I normally am not emotionally attached to any kind of music (except some old country songs my Dad would sing and the occasional rock n' roll classic), but I remember quite distinctly crying at the end of the Tenors special. Over the years, this redneck girl's appreciation for such culture has only grown...even to the point that old and new friends alike have sent me CDs of Amici Forever and Enrico Curuso. Hell, I'm even going with friends to see The Ten Tenors when they come to Raleigh in November. The mainstream success of Pavarotti made this all possible. And one of thee days, I vow, I'll make it to see a live performance at The Met.

From YouTube, as usual:

Puccini's "Nessun Dorma", as sung by Pavarotti at Torino, Italy, 2006
I'm only sorry I never found this music sooner in my life, but am very thankful that the glorious Three Tenors special caught my ear all those years ago.

Maestro Pavarotti, you garnered a very unsuspecting fan and made me appreciate and seek out the music you so clearly loved. I can't count the number of times I've heard your voice when seeing something otherworldly beautiful in person, whether that be the hushed awe of the Sistine Chapel in Rome or the sunrise in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. (Who knows...maybe there's hope for me culturally yet.) A singer singing his songs, touching his audience forevermore...could there be a better legacy? Rest in peace, gentle giant, rest in peace.

No comments: