September 6, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti.



rhhardin said...

You have to be a woman to have a death in the operatic genre.

Stanley Cavell on the subject

tjl said...

"You have to be a woman to have a death in the operatic genre."

No you don't. The operatic stage is littered with the deceased of both sexes. The female body count may be a little higher, but Tristan, Don Giovanni, Radames, and Cavaradossi all die dramatically.

Addio and thank you, Pavarotti.

vet66 said...

"Nissan Dorma" (Let nobody sleep) is an apt remembrance for Pavarotti. Hearing his beautiful voice, a gift from GOD, sing from Puccini's Turandot, elevates us all.

His memory will never sleep with such beauty left for posterity.

Grazie, Luciano, you sing in GOD's chorus now. I can only imagine the beauty of song in eternal life.


Roger said...

Wonderful voice, wonderful human being who was able to make opera accessible. My favorite album of his is his Christmas album. RIP, Lucciano

Tibore said...

"...Tristan, Don Giovanni, Radames, and Cavaradossi all die dramatically."

Wait a minute... Doesn't the Commendatore drag Don Giovanni down to hell, kicking and screaming but alive?




On topic: Yes, I saw the news this morning and was really saddened. Pavarotti's voice was one in a million. Seeing a mention of Cavaradossi reminds me: Someday, I really need to go get a copy of him performing that role. Tosca's one of my favorite operas - partially because the version I saw was mercifully kept short ;) - but also because of Cavaradossi's aria opening the last act. What a great piece of music! And this from a guy who's goal in life is to get both the Pink Floyd's and Led Zepplin's Ultimate collections; talk about loving something different! But I do. Tosca's a great opera. Anyway, I think that aria is titled "E lucevan le stelle", and at the university where I saw it performed, the student in the role hit it out of the park. I can only imagine what an accomplished, once-in-a-lifetime talent like Pavarotti would do with it.

Never saw him perform in person. That's my loss, totally.

Ann Althouse said...

"Nissan Dorma"?

I thought that meant: my car won't start.

Trooper York said...


tjl said...

"Nissan Dorma"

It's "Nessun," although Puccini was in fact a car buff, back in the dawn of the auto age before Nissans were invented.

jane said...

Verdi, too. La donna è mobile, and a Pavarotti performance.

Richard Dolan said...

Una furtiva lagrima: I confess to shedding a few on learning of his passing. Others brought greater musicianship to the art of singing, but no one surpassed him for the sheer power and passion that he put into it. In addition to his unique round, ringing tone, he always impressed with the sheer physicality of his singing. It comes through, a little bit, in the many clips of him singing Nessun dorma -- he shows the strain of hitting (and not always holding) the insanely high notes at the end (All'alba vincerò). (Compare his version to Bocelli's to see the difference.) That virile physicality invested all of his roles with the huge appetite for life that Pavarotti radiated (and, as time went on, also carried around).

Others note that towards the end of his career, he could barely move around the stage. Sadly true. When he sang in Tosca at the end of his career, for example, the Met set up a little easel at the front of the stage from which he sang the Act 1 arias; he just couldn't negotiate the scaffolding from which other tenors sang those arias as they supposedly painted the picture of Tosca's rival on the church wall. Pathetic in its way, but no matter. He always made sure that there was at least one utterly electrifying vocal moment in every performance; it never became completely rote.

Fortunately, he sang at the Met regularly over the decades, and I got to hear him in all his great roles. He was the only tenor I ever remember hitting the last note in Act 1 of Boheme in a live performance. It's at the end of O soave fanciulla where Rodolfo and Mimi are singing Amor! Amor! Amor! as they go down the stairs, offstage. (Placido once tried to do it, but cracked the note and I've never heard him try it again.)

No doubt, another great Italian tenor will come along and fill the gap. But for a long time he will remain one of the great voices that future tenors will be compared to and judged against. RIP.

blake said...

La donna è mobile?

Doubtless in her Nissan.

downtownlad said...

Opera is a dead art form. Yawn.

tjl said...

"Opera is a dead art form"

DTL, you'd better be careful about saying that because legions of alive and furious opera queens will find you and wreak a terrible operatic vengeance. Stabbing? Beheading? Burning on a funeral pyre? Tossing you from the battlements? Dragging you directly to Hell? There are so many options to choose from.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
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