I was saddened with the news of Luciano Pavaroti's death this morning. ABC has a great tribute to him here.
But here is a short excerpt. I hope you all have heard him sing. If not, go get an album and listen! Just for the sake of the genius of his voice.
Then he did something astonishing -- totally unexpected.
There is a passage in the opera "Daughter of the Regiment" where nine high Cs follow close upon one another.
No tenor had ever even attempted it.
"Pavarotti was always challenging himself, always looking for something new to try," said Volpe, who was there the night Pavarotti tried it at the New York Met. He remembers the pandemonium that ensued.
Pavarotti has written of it, telling how his nervousness and self-rebuke soared in the hours and minutes before he would go onstage and try it. "Why am I doing this to myself?!"
Then he stepped out on stage. The music soared, the passage arrived and before he knew it -- it was over and he had done it. He hit all nine high Cs in a row. Perfectly. He even made it seem easy.
The opera house went wild.
Looking back on it all, Pavarotti explained it like this: "It's not to make myself popular," he said 1981 BBC television interview. "It's to make the world of opera popular. I think it's the certain way to give back what God gave to me -- the only way -- please as many people as possible."
In his most famous and acclaimed aria performance, Nessun Dorma, he sang about love's ability to conquer all. So it was with Luciano Pavarotti -- between the singer and those he sang to -- it was a love affair to the end.
I thought about each of our talents...tho none as great as his. YET...we have been given gifts and talents and I think I personally need to remember that I need to use what I have better. Same with you. So get started.