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Ciao, Luciano

Okay, he stayed too long at the fair.  The idea of a 60-year-old, 400-pound man playing a starving artist failed to suspend disbelief.  The three tenors crap was execrable.  He probably inspired Andrea Bocelli.

But, once upon a time, there was this voice:


Alex Ross, Steve Smith, Marcus Maroney, Charles T. Downey, Tim Mangan, Marc Geelhoed, Opera Chic


Comment from Chris Becker
Time: September 6, 2007, 3:53 pm

Jerry, your comments are really fucking tasteless.

Comment from David Toub
Time: September 6, 2007, 4:10 pm

Actually, I understood Jerry’s point, and didn’t take offense at all, but each to his/her own. I think what Jerry is suggesting is actually positive—while some of LP’s later activities were questionable to at least some of us, we all could appreciate the quality of his earlier vocal endeavors. While I’m not into opera (a few 20th-century ones as exceptions), I always loved hearing Luciano and Beverly Sills as well when I was growing up. Sure, he stayed active probably too long (Beverly knew when to cash it in, which was very classy and intelligent). But he was still a great tenor, and it’s a tragedy that he’s gone. But I don’t find Jerry’s comments at all offensive, personally. Nor in bad taste.

Comment from Everette Minchew
Time: September 6, 2007, 4:22 pm

When has it become a rule that you cannot say anything negative about a dead person? Is there a grace period? I want a time table!

He did stick around too long, but I can’t imagine having to give up music if I was still physically able to write it. Even if the quality was no longer there it would be hard for me to give up that part of my life.

Don’t become like the republicans when they tried to crucify anyone that said anything negative about Reagan (even if it was true) after his passing.

Comment from Steve Layton
Time: September 6, 2007, 4:38 pm

Actually Chris, Jerry’s comments just seem a succinct version of this fuller evaluation by Alex Ross:

The same recogniton of his prime, along with the same lumps he was getting while he was still around. Seems fair to me.

Comment from Daniel G.
Time: September 6, 2007, 5:12 pm

Guilty pleasure: Pava singing Nessun Dorma…sorry, but it is :)

Comment from Trevor Hunter
Time: September 6, 2007, 5:19 pm

Why is it a guilty pleasure? A great piece of music sung by a great artist. Where’s the guilt? Is there some sort of ‘Gnarl Quotient’ that needs to be satisfied for it to be acceptable to like it?

Comment from Daniel G.
Time: September 6, 2007, 5:47 pm

Oh, cool it. I was only being half serious…about the “guilty” thing. I feel about as guilty as when eating a bowl of ice cream. Geez.

Comment from lawrencedillon
Time: September 6, 2007, 5:54 pm

I saw and heard Pavarotti several times in the early 80s when I worked at the Met (in fact, I bumped headlong into him once below stage, with stammered apologies) — what a lovely sound he had — it really was like nothing else I’ve experienced.

Comment from Tom Myron
Time: September 6, 2007, 6:28 pm

One of my first freelance jobs was to transcribe the orchestrations off one of the early compilation recordings. I could not believe how beautiful his voice was. R.I.P.