This summer it is 30 years since I discovered the great Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. The summer of 1987 I wanted to explore opera so I took a chance and bought my first Pavarotti record. On random I bought the two LP set compilation “My Own Story” from Decca. What a voice! I was hooked! From that day on Pavarotti became my favourite tenor for life.
When I began exploring Pavarotti’s recordings I discovered not only many wonderful operas, but also many beautiful sacred works and classical songs. Later I became aware of Pavarotti’s recordings of Italian and Neapolitan songs. Then in 1990 came the first Three Tenors concert and in 1992 the first Pavarotti & Friends concert. There was so much to explore!
In the 1990s Pavarotti’s fame and success reached new heights and I continued to explore his recordings. After investigating his official recordings, mostly on Decca, I began exploring the myriad of unofficial Pavarotti recordings. There was also a number of books about Pavarotti! Even more to explore!
After a while I just had to hear Pavarotti live! I heard Pavarotti live only three times: In Verdi’s Requiem in Oslo (1992), and live in concert in Oslo (1999) and in Stockholm (2005).
As my interest in Pavarotti’s art developed so did my interest for Italian language, culture and society. I was just the natural next step! So in the summer of 2000 I went to Rome to learn Italian for a month. I have continued to learn Italian and to explore Italy to this very day!
In 2007 Pavarotti passed away. His death took my passion for Pavarotti to another level. In May 2009 I started this blog. I wrote this in my very first blog post:
“Hopefully this blog will be interesting for all Pavarotti’s fans, also the ardent ones. It will sometimes be somewhat funny or odd as the perspectives taken on Pavarotti’s art, life and legacy will take many odd turns and twists. Pavarotti was not only a great artist and a great person, but has also become a cultural icon and phenomenon. Naturally, Pavarotti’s performances and recordings will be essential topics in this blog.”
And the journey into Pavarotti’s art, life and legacy continues. Like this morning, when I received the latest Pavarotti compilation album which has its international release today. The new double CD from Decca is entitled “The People’s Tenor“. What an appropriate title for a Pavarotti album!
Pavarotti was for me the starting point for my interest into opera, an interest which is still evolving. My musical interest has all my life revolved around the human voice in all its form, whether it’s classical, opera, sacred, jazz, soul, disco or pop, whether it’s tenors, soul singers, sopranos, countertenors, baritones, jazz singers or disco divas.
There are many great voices out there, both past and present, in many genres, that I love to listen to, but the greatest voice of them all was, is and forever will be the voice of the great Luciano Pavarotti!
For the last 30 years I have listen to Pavarotti singing. When looking back on these 30 years, I wonder how I could have survived without Pavarotti’s glorious voice!
Grazie mille, Luciano!
This blog post no. 315 was first published 01-09-2017. Last revision 01-09-2017.