Sorry, but after two blog post on sad Pavarotti pieces (read them here and here) it’s not yet over with the sadness. This is because these days it’s 15 years since Princess Diana died so tragically in Paris.
Diana, Princess of Wales died 31 August 1997 after a tragic car accident in Paris, France. Her death was followed by a public mourning in the UK and around the world which was quite astonishing and moving. Diana became a cultural icon after her death, in many ways like Pavarotti became a cultural reference point.
Pavarotti was asked to sing in her funeral, but declined because he was to grief-stricken to perform. He did, however, attend her funeral. And this brings us to the Pavarotti fact of the day: In the film “The Queen” with Helen Mirren, Pavarotti pops up in an archive clip when he arrives Diana’s funeral.
Diana and Pavarotti met several times in relation to Pavarotti’s performances. Pavarotti sang in the Verdi Requiem in the Arena di Verona in Verona, Italy on 5 August, 1990, and Diana was in the audience (available on DVD). Diana attended the Pavarotti plus concert in Royal Albert Hall in London in 1995 (previously available on Decca CD and VHS). Diana also attended the Pavarotti 1995 concert “Pavarotti & friends together for the children of Bosnia” in Modena, Italy. This concert is available on Decca CD and DVD. All these three performance were broadcast on TV.
As far as I know the 1990 Verdi Requiem in Verona was the first time Diana met Pavarotti. But I remember reading that Prince Charles took Diana to a performance of the Verdi Requiem in London on one of their first dates. I’ve always wondered if Pavarotti sang in that Verdi Requiem as well. Anybody out there who knows these kind of things?
However, maybe the most iconic Diana & Pavarotti pictures came from when she attended Pavarotti’s famous concert in London’s Hyde Park in 1991. The rain kept pouring down on the princess, her husband and the UK prime minister Major. In spite of the rain they all had a great time! It was a very memorable concert, not just because of the rain and the princess’ presence, but it was also a very good performance by Pavarotti. And who could not forget Pavarotti for dedicating the aria “Donna non vidi mai” from the Puccini opera Manon Lesacut to “Lady Diana”? This wonderful concert is available on Decca CD and DVD (NB! The video below is not from the DVD).