Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007)
I spent Saturday night in my room, watching the live broadcast of Luciano Pavarotti's funeral service..
It was held at a cathedral at his home town Modena, where he died of pancreatic cancer on Thursday. The funeral was a solemn affair, very elegant and beautiful, filled with heart-stirring music and exquisite voices (soloists and choir).
It's still going on as I started this post.. the funeral service took about 1 hours 40 minutes. Since it's conducted in Italian, we got a bit of translation.. including the sermon. But what's unique is the music. A few classical singers, including a emotional Soprano (I forgot the name) and Andrea Brocelli performed. Bono of U2 was among the guests.. so were a hosts of invited guests including the prime minister of Italy, who gave wonderful praises to Paravotti in his eulogy.
CNN has dedicated 2 hours in the live coverage of his funeral.. that says a lot about his importance and popularity. I think most music lovers would feel a sense of sadness and loss hearing his demise - yes, what a loss!! Watching his funeral would put you into an even more sombre mood..
Pavarotti has always been my favourite opera singer.. his voice and his skills was a class of its own.. no one comes close to him! Definitely not those young, pop-ish good-looking tenors that are more well-packaged than having any substance! I can say that as far as Pavarotti is concerned, some may not regard him as one of the greatest tenors but THE greatest of our time.
But it's not just the voice and how far he has taken operatic music to the world. I read of his personality, his charisma and his spirit.. how he has always been so generous and charitable, and always a joy to be with. Although he's died at 71 - considered not very young, but learning how courageously he fought his cancer and his hoped to resume his world tour, somehow I feel his life was cut short.. maybe by a year or two.
As his casket was being carried out, his amazing and powerful rendition of `Nessun Dorma' was played. This really created such a poignant and surreal atmosphere that could send chills down your spine. Even if it's on TV.. I can imagine how people would e feeling at the cathedral.
But later, as the commentator noted, the overall atmosphere on the street wasn't that much of grief or sadness, but the thousand of fans broke into applause to pay tribute to Pavarotti, someone they're extremely proud of. They were there to celebrate the life of this great singer and great man.
It was a fitting conclusion for someone who has always people to rejoice rather than to grieve, even in his own death..
Thank you Pavarotti for your voice.
p.s. Since my digital cam was just in my hand, I tested it out by taking the television screen and the results weren't that bad.. Here are some of the shots i took of the funeral.
For further reading, check out this article from New York Times