Vale Luciano Pavarotti

Big Man

Big Voice

Big Heart

He is known mostly for his magnificent voice, but there was more to the Big Guy. Pavarotti raised money for War Child through his annual Pavarotti and Friends concerts in Modena, and then through subsequent CD sales. Money raised by Pavarotti funded the Pavarotti Music Centre in Mostar, Bosnia-Hercegovina (where I worked through 1998), and the Children’s Village in Liberia.

And such a rich, beautiful, warm voice! He lived his life with utmost generosity I think. An inspiring contributor who touched people’s lives.

Though, War Child didn’t perhaps repay that generosity (see this article and this one here). I believe the music centre and Children’s Village projects are now looked after by War Child Holland. The charity seems to have overcome its scandal and has a strong profile in the UK and Europe. Let’s hope it is more accountable these days, some years on from the corruption scandal.

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4 comments so far

  1. kimiam on

    I met him once. I will never forget. He is a great man.

  2. simmone on

    I like pavarotti’s war against the body-fascists. He said: “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.ā€ Vale Pav, GO feeders!

  3. musicwork on

    Maybe he stopped more often than some others for this devotion (?!).

    He came to the music centre in Mostar for the opening. It was a very big deal. He had to fly in a helicopter from Split, because it would take to long to get there by road. He is apparently terrified, absolutely terrified, of helicopters. So they didn’t tell him.

    I guess when he arrived in Split, and saw how little time he had to travel to Mostar, and because he was so committed to the Music Centre, he accepted his fear and got in the chopper. Another inspiring moment of big-heartedness.

    There was a nice story in today’s Age about him trying to pike out of a performance with Joan Sutherland. He rang to cancel saying he had had his wisdom teeth taken out so couldn’t sing. Joan thought for a moment then said, “Rubbish! He just hasn’t learned it. He has all his teeth. Tell him to get on the plane and come here, and we will teach it to him.”

    This was before he was a famous star. He came to Sydney to Joan and Richard Bonynge’s home, with his score still unopened (wrapped in plastic). And he learned it with them, and did the gig. Cut his teeth (so to speak) on the Australian stage then went on to share his wonderful voice with the whole world.

    Here is the link to the article:
    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/09/06/1188783415742.html?from=top5

  4. musicwork on

    Where did you meet him?


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