R.I.P. Lucianno

Ken AshfordIn PassingLeave a Comment

Luciano_pavarotti_bNot a big opera buff myself, but when a giant in the arts passes, I would be remiss in not noting it:

Luciano Pavarotti, opera’s biggest superstar of the late 20th century, died Thursday. He was 71. He was the son of a singing baker and became the king of the high C’s.

Pavarotti, who had been diagnosed last year with pancreatic cancer and underwent treatment last month, died at his home in his native Modena at 5 a.m., his manager told The Associated Press in an e-mailed statement.

His wife, Nicoletta, four daughters and sister were among family and friends at his side, manager Terri Robson said.

I’ve seen Pavarotti perform twice.  The first time was at the Boston Commons Esplanade in the early 80’s (yes, Mom, I remember) when he gave a public performance for his film — which bombed — Yes, GiorgioTechnically, my family and I, along with several hundred other people, were movie extras.  I also saw him perform in London in 1983 at some free outdoor concert, although he was one of many "acts".

Opera diva Beverly Sills died earlier this month.  If these things happen in threes, then I guess another opera star is doomed.  But the only two living opera stars I’ve heard of are now dead.