Sad news. Though I must confess I've never been to an Opera in my life. Having thought about it that's not quite true. I was actually in one! I was sixteen or seventeen and a touring Opera company arrived to put on productions in schools using any pupils who didn't set dogs howling when they warbled.
I think I played a Pearl Fisherman and doubled up as one of the ten pairs of legs in a dragon costume. Where I grew up the only things to do were fishing, fucking and drinking, and in the winter there was no fishing. So, of course 4 or 5 of us did what any shanghied teenager expected to make a twat of themselves on stage in front of their peers would do. Went on a pre-show pub crawl of all the hostelries in town known to serve underage drinkers. You know the ones. Where a gin and tonic is classed as a cocktail.
My abiding memory is that Big Richard, who was the head of the dragon, might have been large in stature but was not reknowned for his ability to hold his ale. The resulting drunken weavings meaning the lead tenor having to sing while frantically dodging a kamikaze dragon intent on putting us all out of our misery. Happy days!
As the years went by I learned to appreciate it more. Okay, I admit, Nessun Dorma was the lead in. And yes I bought The Three Tenors. Though I still think they should have called it 30 quid.
And yes, I only discovered arias. I like all killer, no filler! And that is a regret.
But my biggest regret is that I will never get the chance to see Pavorotti perform in a full blown operatic production. I don't know enough to know if he was the greatest tenor of our times, but those who do say so. They talk about his amazing vocal power and range and stage presence.
Now THAT'S entertainment no matter what the medium. You know what? Before the year is out I'm going to the Opera. My own personal tribute to an immense talent. I may really enjoy it. And if he has that effect on a lot of people then what better legacy?
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4 years ago