Memories of Pavarotti.
So I’m really not an opera fan. And I would go so far as to say that I actively disliked his various “crossover” projects like the Three Tenors, or concerts with artists like Sting and Elton John. But I have to say that when I woke up this morning and heard that Luciano Pavarotti had died, I felt a little…sad.
Like Frank Sinatra, Pavarotti has always been a presence in my New York “experience.” I come from a long line of Brooklyn-born Italian Americans, to whom… Well, I guess I can end that sentence right there, can’t I? I come from a long line of Brooklyn-born Italian Americans. There you have it.
But without a doubt, the most passionate lover of all things Pavarotti in my life was always my maternal grandmother–at this point my soul surviving grandparent. And though none of us ever really shared her passion, we totally enabled it, buying her cassette tapes, then CDs, videos, opera tickets, you name it. I still remember the day, in either late 1997 or early 1998, when my mom took her to the Met to finally see her idol live, in person. I couldn’t believe it had taken that long–that my grandmother had fostered such a lifelong adoration of this man, and had never had the opportunity to see him live.
When she finally did, it was a magical experience. And not just for her! I hadn’t even been to the performance, and I could feel the power of it radiating through my grandmother afterwards. I remember sitting on the fountain at Lincoln Center waiting for her and my mom to emerge, and feeling such excitement and anticipation. And when I finally saw them walking towards me, the joy and satisfaction written across my grandmother’s face filled me with more happiness then I would have thought possible.
So thank you, Mr. Pavarotti. Just one account of one life affected by your work. Clearly, you will be missed.
[image from here]