7 Sep 2007

Luciano Pavarotti - Nessun Dorma, the best Prince Calàf ever

Nessun Dorma, Let No One Sleep, in Act III in Puccini's Turandot is probably the most famous opera aria in the world. I believe most people, me as well, know this aria from Luciano Pavarotti's amazing performance. His powerful and passionate voice is like magic that enchants everyone's ears, that penetrates everyone's soul, that seduces each of us to fall into the art of opera. In the statement mourning Pavarotti's death, Royal Opera House (Covent Garden) said,
Luciano Pavarotti was one of the finest singers of our time; ... [He] was one of those rare artists who affected the lives of people across the globe in all walks of life. Through his countless broadcasts, recordings and concerts he introduced the extraordinary power of opera to people who perhaps would never have encountered opera and classical singing, in doing so he enriched their lives. That will be his legacy. ... He had a unique ability to touch people with the emotional and brilliant quality of his voice. He was a man with the most extraordinary gift but with the ability to contact with anyone. He will be truly missed by millions.

True, he will be missed by millions.

Sad that we have lost such a great tenor. I remembered not long ago we just lost two great film directors, Bergman and Antonioni. 2007 has become a sorrowful year for all of us. It is sad to know people die, but it is even worse to fully understand that what we no longer have is their experience, knowledge and artistry. What worries us most is if we have any successors to these deceased masters. For the films industry, we have started to see some good directors showing their talent and creativity. However, in opera singing, the lack of new good tenors with powerful and magnificent voice connotes the decline of opera in modern time. In fact, the lack of tenors and sopranos is not the only reason that results in the decline of opera. It is our popular culture that brings opera to the end. Not only opera has this problem; most traditional performing arts face the same difficulty to survive now. Every time I hear the decease of a mater of a certain arts form, the same worry would pop up again.

Indeed, Pavarotti's voice is unique. It is "God-given glory" as Placido Domingo addressed. Now God retrieves his property, and we are only left with the recordings of this voice.

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