Pavarotti - Nessun Dorma
Pavarotti is dead.
My mother had "King of the High C's" and several other LPs that she would play around the house when I was young. I saw him (and his white handkerchief) once in Pittsburgh in the late 1990s at the Civic Arena on tour. My knowledge of him has been largely limited to recordings and PBS specials. And say what you may about the lack of reading music, the divo fits, the weight issues, the ballzando delivery. I don't care. He is my very, very favorite tenor, and probably one of the reasons I got into this crazy business. I struggled to attain the warmth and ease with which he sang, and the slightest resemblance in the voice of any tenor gets me buzzing.
(Funny, as much as I practiced I never got any closer to sounding like him...)
As an adult, I'm usually much more drawn to singing actors...I can forgive, and even expect, ugly sounds that occur in service to a strong character. I hate park and bark, blank faced vocalism. But Pavarotti could do no wrong in my book - all he had to do was sing.
Rest in peace. The standards of the heavenly choir just went up a notch. Addio.