In many areas of The Arts, there seems to nearly always be an artist who ultimately wears the crown for being the most superlatively gifted and talented of them all. This applied to Pavarotti and he is sorely missed on the circuit worldwide. With a personality as well as a talent that was larger than life, his looks also gave off a resplendent roundness and fullness to his awesome voice and personal presence with pronounced expressive eyebrows and often a beard healthy and robust. His dark brown eyes were full of passion, expressiveness and life.
The film on Pavarotti was directed by Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Cocoon, Rush) and follows his career worldwide additionally embracing his family and love life in detail. Pavarotti died in 2007 of cancer and was active right up ‘til his diagnosis. With his first wife, Advua Veroni he had three daughters, one of whom had a serious illness from which she recovered. He had an affair with a co-singer but she made a conscious decision to move away from him. He finally left his wife to marry a much younger woman who eventually through a lot of trial gave him another daughter. His second wife sadly developed MS during their relationship. There are featured chats with many of his close relatives throughout.
The travelling troupe of performers’ colleague Robbie Robertson described “the road” as a “Goddam impossible way of life” yet at the pinnacle of his fame, a quote went round that if Pavarotti had asked for chicken milk they would have tried to milk a chicken for him. Pavarotti in one of his many interviews talked about his trust of people and said that he had always trusted people all his life and no doubt this must have positively contributed to his success and fame. He seemed to also sometimes betray a deep vein of sadness though and part of this was due to scenes he had witnessed as a child growing up in Italy during the war. It undoubtably also was because all performers are striving to keep up the momentum and impact of their skills and stage presence for their many fans.
Teaming up with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras the 3 tenors took the world by storm, and Pavarotti also combined his talents with some of the pop music fraternity resulting in concerts co-ordinated with Bono for example. The highly skilled and revered organizer Harvey Goldsmith CBE worked on many Pavarotti events.
Many of the earlier productions were opera and in the film there are extracts from them including La Boheme, a popular one on the circuit.
As Pavarotti’s fame grew he did turn to embracing charities and branching out as already mentioned in fields other than “straight opera”. My view is that you will get your moneysworth watching this film and be reminded of the fleeting nature of the great presence that some special performers endow on their audience. ENJOY.
Penny Nair Price