Thursday, September 06, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007)

As the financial markets swirl on -- all journey and no destination -- the loss of Luciano Pavarotti is an event of generational significance.

100 years ago, the world was taken by storm by Enrico Caruso. It's important to grasp that Caruso created the modern recording industry. The most popular singer in any genre for over 20 years, Caruso made nearly 300 recordings by 1920, and drove the adoption and early success of 78 rpm technology. If you owned a Victrola, you owned a Caruso 78. Caruso was deservingly awarded a posthumous Grammy in 1987.

But then came Pavarotti.

As I entered college in 1977 to study music, Pavarotti was at his peak. I knew little opera at the time, and got my primer sitting in my dorm room with friends listening to him famously nail the 9 high C's in Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fĂȘte! from Donizetti's "The Daughter of the Regiment". Pavarotti had a titanium voice -- paradoxically both light and strong. Ah! mes amis was an "a-ha" moment for me, one that sparked a life-long love of opera. I would go on to compose an opera for my dissertation, and have started a second opera this past summer.

By the time of Pavarotti's reign in the 1970's, music had become so stylistically fragmented that it's difficult for many to understand his significance. Not only did he have a twice-in-a-century voice, one of Pavarotti's greatest contributions was that he eagerly embraced popular music. This was very controversial in the stodgy music world, but Pavarotti knew that opera originally WAS popular music. He saw this connection, and reminded us that music is as much a social experience as it is a musical one.

The 20th century saw two of the greatest operatic tenors in history, and it is a cherished thought to know that I was there for one of them.

Mi mancherai.



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Pavarotti Nessun Dorma

Pavarotti with Queen

Pavarotti with James Brown

Pavarotti with Barry White


JHQuinn said...


If that's you with Pavarotti I have two comments:

You're a big guy and that pix was a long time ago.

I last saw Pavarotti in Miami in the late 80s and, sadly, it was a night that he was a little off.

But he is still the best I've ever seen.


Jim said...

very nice rememberance.

A cousin had an old Victrola with a variety of old needles and a bunch of large sized 78s including Caruso.

beingpossibility said...

When are you going to continue posting again. Your insights are very valuable!

Hector Rivera said...


Miss you posting and insight. Im a fan of yours

Anonymous said...

I'm a rudderless ship without the dk Report!

Trading Goddess said...


I hope you are well?

PercColate said...

Come on DK, the mourning period for Pavarotti is over. Good grief! get a hold of yourself mate, come to your senses and dazzle us with your market savvy.

henry said...


I love your posts and I've been waiting for more.

deb said...

come back dk.....