Luciano Pavarotti Opera's Best Friend
by Corrado Cusmano
Pavarotti was the hub from which the spokes emanated. This was clearly demonstrated by his foray into pop music – concerts and recordings billed as “Pavarotti and Friends.” But this too was incidental to his being on stage again, where he belonged, surrounded by the likes of Elton John, Sting, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and Bono.
The concerts raised money for charities that were dear to him, and lesser mortals got to orbit his sphere, even if only briefly. And in so doing, musical legitimacy was bestowed upon them (the Spice Girls excepted).
But music was only part of the Pavarotti mystique. Pavarotti demonstrated that there is much in living life for the moment and to the fullest. Opera was his vehicle toward this pursuit. He confounded the critics and the opera purists. Many derided his musical escapades and other projects as self-indulgent and sell- outs. But then, what is the point of breathing rarefied air if you can’t share it. This is the Pavarotti legacy, bringing opera – one of the least accessible musical forms – to a wider audience, and proving that you can have fun doing it.
Wherever Luciano Pavarotti may be now, he is surely basking in the aura of a standing ovation, smiling from ear to ear, and enjoying the moment.
New Book by Longbridge
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