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Postby Barry » Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:38 pm

And so goodbye to Pavarotti. I only saw him once, at the Palace in Manchester, and there's no disputing he was simply a legend, and I guess legends are allowed to carry on. I think I was uncomfortable with the fuss that surrounded him, and whilst the fact that in many of the later stage productions any sense of dramatic integrity (his spectacular death scene in front of a firing squad in Tosca later reduced to a head slumping forward whilst sat on a chair - I'd rather have had a concert) was lost there's absolutley no denying that extraordinary voice and the huge, huge impact he has had in popularising opera. And then there was that smile and charisma, and all the endless charity work he did, especially about using music as therapy. Hopefully as a result of people hearing him and succumbing to the publicity, new people went to the opera house to see that opera is not just about the singing, but is a combination of the drama, the emotion, the design, the movement (yes!), the character, the direction, all coming together to produce something quite inexplicably exciting. Disbelief has to be suspended but when it is, it can transform.
But we have lost a real legend.

Interestingly the papers and such have all talked about his performances as the Duke in Rigoletto as his greatest, for the sheer life he brought to that aria and the quartet, among others. All mentioned though that he was incapable of showing the darker side of the character, as everything he did he did with utter charm. The Duke should be a charmer, but the audience need to see the facade. But with that voice, did anyone in the audience worry?

Darn I'd like to return to opera again, to the wild grand passions, where I don't have to worry about the characters wearing seat belts or eating healthy foods.
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