Music, happiness, and thrilling vocalism–an unbeatable combination. Luciano Pavarotti, King of the High C’s, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer on September 6, 2007, represented all of that in spades. Millions who saw him on TV found his expansive personality and generous figure irresistible.
Pavarotti was the superstar in The Three Tenors, sharing the international spotlight with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. Together they sold recordings and videos by the millions.
The sobriquet, King of the High C’s, became attached to Luciano Pavarotti with good reason. No other tenor of his generation, and relatively few of the past, could hit that note, an octave above middle c, with such spine-tingling brilliance. Some have even gone so far as to say that hitting this note with such power is unnatural for a man, that it is almost freakish.
Then there are those who hear the experience of that sound as tapping into some deep memory. Maitland Peters, chairman of the voice department at the Manhattan School of Music, was quoted in a New York Times article as saying: “The reason it’s so exciting to people is, it’s based on the human cry. It’s instinctual. It’s like a baby. You’re pulled into it…there’s nothing in his way.”
It turns out that the runaway top choice on iTunes for Luciano Pavarotti is the aria “Pour mon ame” from Donizetti’s opera FILLE DU REGIMENT. It climaxes in no fewer nine consecutive octave leaps to the high c, bringing the piece to a spectacular conclusion.
1) What memories do you have of hearing, and perhaps seeing, Luciano Pavarotti?
2) Is he your favorite tenor?
3) Do you feel yourself drawn to the tenor voice or do you have other vocal preferences?
4) Do you yourself sing, and what are your personal memories of singing?