Friday, June 19, 2009
Beloved Luciano Pavarotti
Beloved tenor Luciano Pavarotti passed away in his home town of Modena, Italy. His coffin has been on display in Modena's cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Although most people have heard of Pavarotti, not many know much about Modena. The town of Modena, in northern Italy's Emilia Romagna region, is famous for Ferrari and Maserati cars and Balsamic vinegar but it's also an interesting town to visit.
Modena's historic center is a a pleasant place for walking and biking. At the very core is the Piazza Grande, the focal point of Modena. Here you'll find the Duomo di Modena, Modena's 12th Century cathedral with its Gothic bell tower, the Torre della Ghirlandina.
Pavarotti was born on October 12, 1935. His father, Fernando, was a baker and amateur tenor in the local chorus, "Gioachino Rossini". Pavarotti loved to play soccer and played exceptionally well (well enough to earn him local fame).
As a teenager, he joined his father in the local chorus. Pavarotti had a surprisingly delightful tenor voice. After the chorus had entered the Llangollen International Singing Competition in Wales and won first place, Pavarotti became "hooked".
After touring in Austrailia, Pavarotti made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1972 in a production of La Fille du Regiment. He delivered a flawless performance. His nine perfect "high c's" gave the audience chills of excitement; their standing ovations were well deserved. Pavarotti's fame skyrocketed. He performed all over the globe and recorded many records (some even twice), and his concerts sold out to record breaking crowds.
Luciano established several competitions designed to help young artists gain experience and recognition. He also established the "Pavarotti and Friends" Benefit Concert, as well as joining the famous Three Tenors. His musical talents combined with the many talents of other genre artists have raised millions of dollars for medical, educational, and vocational initiatives in less fortunate countries. In 2006, Luciano was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and on Thursday, September 6, 2007, Pavarotti passed away in his home in Modena.