06 September 2007

Those Who Knew Them: Luciano Pavarotti 1935-2007

A tribute to the late, great, tenor by one of those who knew and loved him best, restaurateur Luigi Stereotipo- Nazionalo.

Che posso dire? The maestro is no more. I cry, I tear my clothes. Caro amico mio, I miss you. Luciano, I know you since you are little boy here in Modena. Always you love three things: the music, the football, the food ... but not necessarily in that order. I remember when you are nine or ten you want to be great footballer. I see you play as keeper. You are so good - the quick hands, the great football brain and - of course - the fact you take up quite a lot of the goal.

But is the singing that take you. Always you listen to you papa's records - Gigli, Schipa, Caruso - all the greats. I see you covered in flour from papa's work in the bakery, listening to Giovanni Martinelli record with a faraway look in you eye ... and the remains of a basket of focaccia in you hand. Then there is time you get up in my little ristorante and climb on the table and sing you heart out. Is bring tears to my eyes even now ... and not because you break my table. It is because you have the great voice.

You study, you work hard and that voice he take you everywhere. You sing at La Scala, you sing in London, you sing in Australia, you sing in New York. They say you reach nine high C's when you sing at The Met. They make you take 17 curtain calls -it even make you give up you after-performance, pre-meal-snack nibble. Such dedication.

Ah, you voice. I can hear it now. So flowing, so beautiful. Always I remember the words you say to me when you come into the restaurant, "Luigi - I have the calamari , the caponata, the fritatta, the prosciutto, the alici, the bruschetta, the gamberi, the bresaola, the pepperoni, the carciofi, the melanzane, the funghi, the lampascioni ... and once I've finished the starters come back to me and talk about the mains".

You were the greatest star. You bring music to millions. When you sing Nessun Dorma at the World Cup you make everyone cry (especially Domingo and Carreras when they realise how much better you sing it than them). The whole stadium it fill with tears and for once is not because Gazza is there.

Ah Luciano, I know you have you problems. I know you have little difficulty with you tax. I know they say you no act. I know they say is wrong to sing with popstars. But I know you have great appetite for life, for music (and, si, for food) and I know you have voice of gold. Arrivederci Luciano.

1 Comment:

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Very naughty but I think Luciano would have had a laugh at it himself, Dodo. According to the Ital press today, all was not so well with that second marriage. Poor man.