Luciano Pavarotti, one of the leading opera tenors, passed away earlier today. The singer fought a long battle against pancreatic cancer.
Pavarotti was a legend in our time, comparable to Enrico Caruso for another generation. Many of us who grew in the 1960s to the beat of the Beatles and hip-hop, spurned classical music, and with it Pavarotti, as being irrelevant to our times.
As our hairline receded and graying set in, the hip-hop was still interesting, but many of us turned to classical music, where Pavarotti ruled as a singer and Karajan as a director until his death, for the evergreen themes of life, the eternal truths.
I have only heard about Pavarotti, and had to fall back on CDs for his music, enthralled by his singing, particularly the arias from Verdi, and Puccini’s La Boheme and Nessum Dorma. But his death still feels personal, almost like the passing of an age in classical music.
Pavarotti made his overtures, or shall we say concessions to the new beats of this generation, including through joint performances with U2 and Vanessa Williams.