I was saddened by the death of Luciano Pavarotti, not only because he was the greatest tenor of the past 50 plus years, but because I was fortunate enough to see and hear him at his very best. What makes him the greatest is simple: none of the other tenors is/was capable of singing bel canto and Verdi's Otello. An amazing voice.

A recent broadcast of Rossini's William Tell reminded me of Pavarotti's superb recording. This really puts his greatness into perspective: How many tenors have recorded (or performed) this opera or the main, brutal tenor arias and Otello? To the best of my knowledge no one has done this between Pavarotti and Tamagno! And Tamagno was the first Otello.

Larry Williams adds:

These words are from the wife of one of Pavarotti's competitors and fellow singers, retired now, whose name is legendary in opera circles.  Many purists were not wild about Pavarotti — but here's as inside a look as you can get:

Luciano had a beautiful, clear voice, with an excellent technique, and a real connection to the Italian style. He did whatever he wanted. His control went beyond music and he understood his place and mission with no pretensions, unlike, say, Callas. I loved the individuality of his voice. You could never mistake him for anybody except himself.  I loved the ease with which he sang and the joy he took in performing.  He was an outsize personality that was able to spread the love of opera to many people, and for that the operatic world should be forever grateful. Operatic singers seem to be blander now, more cookie-cutter alike. I wonder if he would have made it in these times.

Eli Zabethan rues:

Despite having a parterre center box at the Met for many years, sadly I never got to hear the Maestro except on CDs. I was always traveling and missed his performances.





Speak your mind


Resources & Links