Luciano Pavarotti, beyond the tenor

Luciano Pavarotti was born in Modena on Octover 12th /1935. The doctor told her mother: "With this powerful voice, he will be tenor", and was true, one of the best tenors of all times.

He had humble origins, his father was a baker and his mother a factory worker. Always heard bel canto in his home, because his father was a real fan of opera. Pavarotti sometimes commented that his father could have been a good singer. But his father said that to be a good singer it was necessary not only to have a good voice, but to control one's nerves.

Pavarotti always said that his childhood was happy, but with economical shortages. During the second world war, he and his family went to live to the country. All his family were living in a rented room. By this time Pavarotti was interested in agriculture.
He was fan of Beniaminogigly and Enrico Caruso. His father always encouraged him to take music lessons. When 9 years old, he was singing in the church chorus with his father.

Another interest of Pavarotti was the football, and for some time he thought to devote himself to it. But his mother advised him to study teaching. And he did. Luciano worked as a teacher during two years. But his real vocation was to be a tenor, and made an agreement with his father. He would receive accommodation and meal until age 30; after this, if he couldn't dedicate to be a tenor, he would have to find a work and win his own money.

In 1961 made an interpretation as Rodolpho in the opera "La Boheme" of Puccini, in a local competition in the Italian city Reggio Emilia. And this year he marries Adua Veroni, with whom he will be married for 34 years and with whom he will have 3 daughters. In 2003 he will marry his personal assistant Nicoleta, who was 30 years old less than him, and he will have his fourth daughter: Alice.

Some time after wining that prize, he met the orchestra director Richard Bonynge, who was married with the famous soprano Joan Sutherland. They invited to Pavarotti to make an international tour.

Luciano performed Donizetti's "La fille du regiment", a difficult piece. He reached 9 high Cs in the same aria. With this work, he got a cover in the New York Times and a worldwide fame.

He used his fame to take part in many charity works. He made a popular trio (the Three Tenors) with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.

He also performed with many singers of popular music: Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Brian Adams, Bono from U2... That helped to give a new dimension to opera, to make it more familiar to all kinds of people.

He won many Grammy awards, and platinum and gold discs.

He was going to do a tour to say goodbye to performing, but he was detected a pancreatic cancer in July 2006. In 6 September 2007 he left us in his home near Modena, surrounded by his wife, his sister, and all his daughters.

Luciano Pavarotti was a really charismatic man. His robust look, his wide smile, his eternal handkerchief in his hand... His voice will never have a rival. When we may think in a tenor, we will always imagine his figure, and that's what Luciano has left for us all.

What you have seen is "Vesti la Giubba", a famous aria of the opera "Pagliacci" by Ruggiero Leoncavallo. This is the end of the 1st act, where the clown (Pagliaccio) discovers the infidelity of his wife. But the show must start, and he has to appear dressed like a clown and make them laugh, although he is crying deep inside.
Even though "Caruso" or "Nessus Dorma" are more famous, this piece is the one that I like most of Luciano Pavarotti. I wanted to share it with you.

-Emma Alvarez-

© 2008 by Emma Alvarez. Link to this post without copying the text.

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jOolian said...

emma :: great tribute. yes someone all knew, even who never heard of opera much less...beautiful job!

Emma Alvarez said...

This is the strange and the beautiful of Pavarotti. Everybody knew him. Although opera was a minoritary genre, he changed that.

BoydGreeneArt said...

Very nicely written article on a great singer.

Colin said...

Hi Emma,

Wonderful tribute to a man who brought opera to millions, he managed to popularise it and he will never be forgotten for what he has done.

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