It’s been a year & 2 months since I posted about his pancreatic cancer. You can read all the posts I’ve written about him all together by clicking here. You don’t have to click to read the posts, but I am very fond of the pics I put up to accompany the posts. I picked out older photos of him that I thought showed a lot of who he was beyond a maestro.
So, there’s not much to say; I’m sure you all have heard by now that he’s passed on. Instead, I’m going to post a bunch of things he’s said over his 71 years.
Above all, I am an opera singer. This is how people will remember me. Am I afraid of high notes? Of course I am afraid. What sane man is not? At the age of 4. I jump on the table. I am a little tenor. And I begin to sing, La Donna e Mobile. Children should be given the chance to play instruments, to sing. Every Italian play football. The first gift they give you when you are 3 is a ball. For me, music making is the most joyful activity possible, the most perfect expression of any emotion. For an Italian, being honored in America was a big privilege. I am open to everything. I am proud to be a messenger of peace for the United Nations. I haven’t seen the Elton John, but I have seen Rent on many occasions. I made 12 duets. It was such a pleasure to know these people from the inside, not from the cover of an album. I smoke cigar in the summertime. Probably in three months, 10 cigar. I want to reach as many people as possible with the message of music, of wonderful opera. I would like to raise money for the kids from the world. To do that, the only way, it was to call pop singer. If you call pop singer, you can sell the ticket. If children are not introduced to music at an early age, I believe something fundamental is actually being taken from them. If you see me once, you cannot confuse me with another. If you want to do something really bad to me, you invite at your home, and put one record of mine. And my digestion will be finished before begin. In opera, as with any performing art, to be in great demand and to command high fees you must be good of course, but you must also be famous. The two are different things. Learning music by reading about it is like making love by mail. People have a right to criticize. Sometime to be called Pavarotti is not always an advantage. Why should be elite, music? Excuse me. Music must be for everybody. We just baptized my daughter, and we have 300 people in the church. When we are going to be married, we will be alone. With the piano, at the age of 18, I was already singing for $1, $2 a performance. You don’t need any brains to listen to music. No regrets, no regrets. If music is central to a person’s life, it can be something very special and life-affirming. I am a very superstitious person.[When he performs, Pavarotti wants nails strewn all over the stage, and won’t tolerate the color purple. In former times, priests wore purple, and artists couldn’t perform during the season of Lent. So, purple, to an Italian, to an artist, means no eating, no money, no work, no women.] Olive oil is so incredibly healthy — as a digestive. I love it and I use it despite the fact that it’s the most caloric thing in the world. I am not a boiled potato — I am a fried potato. I have lost twice 85 pounds. Can you imagine? Twice. Despite the fact that I was born under the sign of Libra [balance], I am a person who calculates little and dreams a lot. With the grandissimi advantages and the grandissimi disadvantages. But, the advantages are 90% and the disadvantages, 10%. So it’s worth living as a dreamer. I love Ballo [Un Ballo in Maschera — The Masked Ball, a Verdi opera] for many reasons …. The tenor character Riccaredo is a good man who is deeply in love with his friend’s wife. I sympathize with him, not because I have ever been in love with a friend’s wife, thank God, but because I know how pwerful love can be and how it can make a man do things that he knows are wrong. I know one second before if is not going well. Absolutely. I feel it. Teaching I think is the most difficult thing. Teaching is more difficult than singing. ….. Why? Because you have to transfer a thought from your brain to the brain of the other person and the throat of the other person. [2005 – This was when Pavarotti announced that he was retiring from performing, & was now going to teach for free.] I’m going to teach for free. I don’t want to teach people just because they pay me. I want to teach people who really are good. I received a beautiful welcome to the world of music. I want to give something back to the younger generation.”