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RIP Pavarotti


purplekow
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Not much of an opera fan but these two collaborations are examples of Pavarotti and artists you would not usually think of as doing duets with a powerful opera star. All three now gone.

 

http://youtube.com/watch?v=kL0WFcygdWY&mode=related&search=

 

and http://youtube.com/watch?v=VCIyzNISw1Q

 

Perhaps some opera afficianandos can comment more fully on his place in the history of opera. For my part, I recognize his ability to cross genres and to bring greater recognition to opera (and himself of course)

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One of the hallmarks of operatic greatness is a voice that has an instantly recognizable and individual quality… In that regard one thinks of Callas, Sutherland, Caballé in the soprano realm… In the tenor realm one must include Pavarotti… the voice was unique, distinctive, and instantly identifiable.

 

That such was the case with Pavarotti is evidenced by the fact that I can remember the exact moment when I first heard his voice. It was the aria “Deserto in Terra” from Donizetti’s Dom Sebastien… I was driving and turned into a parking lot, turned off the engine, and just sat there listening to that spectacular sound… It was indeed a voice for the ages.

 

Windows media audio link:

 

http://mfile3.akamai.com/14123/wm2/muze.download.akamai.com/2890/us/uswm2/_!/726/548726_1_08.asx?auth=daEc7cra_dOc6dfbAcecubgb.bAbdc1ayaS-bg3.TJ-Ci-jfhbf&aifp=1234&obj=v50503

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His voice was indeed distinctive, and at its best it was thrilling to listen to. Unfortunately, he wasn't always at his best, and he was really past his prime by the time he became well known to the general public. He hated to practice or to learn anything new, so he tended to sing the same things the same way over and over ("Nessun dorma" now has about as much impact as a commercial jingle); when he did venture onto something new, it wasn't always appropriate to his vocal strengths. He had become a terrible ham on stage, with an ego as big as his stomach. In recent years, he looked ridiculous, with his overly dyed jet black hair, beard and eyebrows. His performances--when he showed up--were cult phenomena rather than artistic events. Nevertheless, he gave enormous pleasure to many people who would not otherwise have been exposed to opera in any form, and those of us who saw him when he was still a young sensation will never forget the experience.

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I have never been a fan of Pavarotti idiosyncratic on and off stage mannerisms. He could drive my crazy with that damn handkerchief. However, his voice could, and still does, on occasion, send chills up my spine. Luciano Pavarotti did for opera what Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov did for ballet. His recordings are a legacy that will live forever.

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Epigonos… I agree entirely… and Charlie, who was just as blunt in his assessment, is on target as well… How I wish he had only stuck to singing only the lighter, more lyrical, and Bel Canto type roles. When the “Three Tenors” thing started he was indeed past his prime… but nonetheless an awesome presence… Still those early recordings of works by Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini, and even some of the more lyrical operas of Verdi and Puccini are awe-inspiring and when listening to them one can forget that onstage he often looked and acted like an over aged and oversized honey baked ham…

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Everyone who has already posted had a bit of truth to add about Pavarotti. He was all of those things and more. He was larger than life in more than one way. But, personally, I never bothered about any thing but the music and the voice. I have enjoyed his singing for a long time and will continue to as long as I have hearing.

 

RIP.

 

KMEM

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Guest zipperzone

>When the “Three Tenors” thing started

>he was indeed past his prime… but nonetheless an awesome

>presence…

 

The mention of "The Three Tenors" reminds me of an incident that did not sit well with me nor about 40,000 other Vancouverites.

 

A few years ago they were giving a concert in Vancouver on New Years Eve. Tickets were expensive but we thought what the hell - to spend NY's eve with them would be worth it. Better than in a nightclub full of drunks.

 

The advertising for the concert led one to believe that you would bring in the New Year with them. What a great way to start it.

 

Well.... little did anyone know that was not exactly what they had planned. Just about 11:45, without much fanfare or an encore, they bowed, said good night and vanished. Straight into a limo that wisked them off to a private party where they would make their grand entrance as the clock struck 12.

 

I felt a little ripped off. Everyone there was expecting to have them on stage with us at 12. God knows we paid enough for it and had been conned into expecting it from the advertising.

 

They didn't loose me as a fan, but they never again had quite the same cachet for me.

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