Culture: Supertenor with Huge Appetite for Love, Life and Opera Music; Luciano Pavarotti Talks Exclusively to Christopher Morley about the Secrets of Preserving the Tenor Voice and His Favourite Operatic Roles

The Birmingham Post (England), October 17, 2002 | Go to article overview

Culture: Supertenor with Huge Appetite for Love, Life and Opera Music; Luciano Pavarotti Talks Exclusively to Christopher Morley about the Secrets of Preserving the Tenor Voice and His Favourite Operatic Roles


Byline: Christopher Morley

Supertenor Luciano Pavarotti hits town on Sunday, drawing thousands of fans from all over the region to the National Exhibition Centre, avid to hear that honeyed voice and catch the appealing vulnerability beneath those long-admired tones.

The besotted media tell us he is a man of gargantuan appetite, whether it be gastronomical, emotional, or material. Yet there is much more to him than this, as I discovered in an exclusive interview with him.

We began by reminiscing about his early days, and his first appearances in England. Those included a season in Mozart's great opera seria Idomeneo at the Glyndebourne Opera House in 1964.

As a schoolboy, I saw Pavarotti in rehearsal there, singing the role of Idamante. He was a slim, serious and totally committed young man, and I was much taken with his performance.

'I'm happy you were able to share my own experience of Glyndebourne,' he smiles. 'It was a very special experience for me personally as a young singer setting out. An incredible opera house.'

It took several years, however, for Pavarotti to gain total critical acceptance, something which was really only finally achieved when he was taken up by the great Australian soprano Joan Sutherland ('La Stupenda') and her conductor husband Richard Bonynge.

During those years he did not always receive the kindest notices, but he never flinched from reading them.

'I am not one of those people who do not read reviews. I like to think that I am able to listen to the opinions offered by music critics and learn by them, whether I agree with them or not.

'Some music critics are incredibly knowledgeable - about repertoire, about technique and artists. Music criticism is a sharing of an opinion of one person, and often that person will be as much a fanatic of your art as you are, and I have always found that valuable.'

Once the critics had been won over, so the worldwide fame grew, and Luciano Pavarotti and his handkerchief became soughtafter commodities on the concert circuit.

With many huge tours under his capacious belt, does he feel a special reward in giving hundreds and thousands of his fans to opportunity to see him?

'You know, my schedule has never been too manic. I have never taken on tours and performances that will harm my voice - that is why it has lasted so long.

'Even now, or especially now, I pace myself sensibly. For the past ten years I have planned only one year or so ahead with my schedule of performances.

'The best thing about the big arena concerts is that it allows me to share the tenor voice and its repertoire with a great number of people. What can be more rewarding?' Equally rewarding for Pavarotti are many of the great Italian roles he has undertaken, though he continues with a warning for young tenors. Tosca is a wonderful opera for the tenor, but its hero Cavaradossi is a role I took on fairly late in my career.

'I was actually due to sing it in 1963 (at the age of 28), but the great tenor Giuseppe di Stefano told me I was mad, my voice was not ready, that taking on roles like this too early would damage my voice and be very against his advice.

'I listened to the maestro's advice and didn't sing it until over a decade later.'

Pavarotti warms to his theme, and passes on some advice of his own.

'I think it is so important for any singer not to force the voice on roles which are entirely unsuitable.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Culture: Supertenor with Huge Appetite for Love, Life and Opera Music; Luciano Pavarotti Talks Exclusively to Christopher Morley about the Secrets of Preserving the Tenor Voice and His Favourite Operatic Roles
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.