Thursday, September 06, 2007

Big Lucy takes his final bow

Though his repertoire was not particularly large and he lacked the acting ability of Placido Domingo, "Big Lucy" will be remembered for his lavish aureate voice and for being one of the great popularisers of opera. A football obsessive, like so many of his compatriots, Pavarotti's rendition of Nessun Dorma for the 1990 World Cup hoisted the hefty divo into the megastar league.
But by the mid 90s he was past his best, as the merciless claque of La Scala were all too happy to remind him. Jonathan Miller's biting words about opera stars being "jurassic park performers" with "with shreds of primeval vegetation hanging from their jaws" might have been made with Pavarotti in mind.
Just two months ago, his spokeswoman Terri Robson dismissed one of his daughter's claims made in a German magazine that he knew he was going to "die soon". According to Robson, Pavarotti laughed out loud when told of the story. But death comes like a thief in the night.
Last night, the burghers of Modena reacted in a suitably operatic fashion to the news of their favourite son's demise. Crowds gathered outside Modena Cathedral, Pavarotti's most famous arias poured from restaurant and cafe sound systems and a special Pavarotti emergency hotline was set up for grief-striken locals in need of counselling. Some politicians have also called for September 6th to be made an annual remembrance day with concerts in his honour.


Blogger Renegade Eye said...

Very good post.

I even enjoyed him performing with Elton John. It was sappy, still wonderful.

He hit on a friend of mine, who is a cellist. That makes her proud.

9/11/2007 5:13 PM  

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