The Coda: Final Reflections

Now that I have finished Pavarotti: My World, I can finally give my full thoughts on the book. Overall, I felt it was very well written by Luciano, with a lot of detail, so much detail that it could get a bit monotonous to read at times. I was able to satisfy my initial guiding questions:

  1. Where did he develop his voice and love of music? He developed his voice in the operatic style under several different teachers in his childhood. He also gained wisdom, and developed of love of music, and more specifically opera, from his father (who was also an opera singer).
  2. What was he like as a person?  Based on my readings, I can gather that he was a joyful and lighthearted person, but also someone who took his craft very seriously. He was also a family man. He was incredibly close to his wife and children, and they often went along with him on his travels.
  3. What is his crowning achievement as a performer? This question was harder to nail down. He talks about so many of his great moments within the book that it is hard to pinpoint one specific one. If I had to take a guess, I would say that it would be his performance in the opera Un Ballo in Maschera at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Italy. This was the performance that showed he still had it, after his less than stunning performances at La Scala a few years ago, in which he was booed tremendously.

As a singer, I can completely see why my 3rd question would be harder to answer. I personally, have done many performances, so it’s hard to really narrow down a personal favorite. Pavarotti, a singer who was so much more experienced and talented than I, had far more performances, meaning it would be even harder for him to choose a favorite.

Overall Pavarotti: My World is a great read for any opera fan, and also for someone who is interested in learning about a transcendent performer, but also a one of a kind character. In my opinion, Pavarotti is the best there was and probably the best there ever  will be in terms of tenors.

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Holland, Bernard. Luciano Pavarotti Is Dead at 71. Digital image. The New York Times. The New York Times, 05 Sept. 2007. Web. 01 May 2017.

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The Singer’s Life

I am a little more than half way through the book currently and have gotten more insights into my general reading questions. The book is still mainly talking about stories from different operas Pavarotti was in.

I can now give a better answer to the question: “What was he like as a person?” Based on my readings, I can gather that he was a joyful and lighthearted person, but also someone who took his craft very seriously. The chapter I am currently reading is starting to talk less about his opera experiences, and more about his family life, and a few concerts he did outside of opera.

Most prominent in these few chapters are the struggles of being a singer. As a singer, I can relate to all of these. The constant fear of getting sick, working to the point of exhaustion, missing a cue, all of which happened to Pavarotti, and to me. I’m glad that I can find something to relate to one of my idols about.

Hopefully, I will be able to solidify an answer to my remaining guide question: “What is his crowning achievement as a performer?” as I continue reading this next week.

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Israely, Jeff. Luciano Pavarotti. Digital image. Time. Time Inc., 06 Sept. 2007. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.

 

Early Reflections

After 1 week of reading Pavarotti: My World, I have been able to begin to answer some of the questions that inspire my reading. I am through the first chapter and almost finished with the second. These chapters talk about his life as an opera singer and some of his successes. It also gives a brief introduction into his childhood.

One of my early questions was “How did he develop his voice and love of music?” The first chapter gave a glimpse of this by saying that his father was also an opera tenor, and Luciano wanted to be like his father. “I grew up in opera. My father had an operatic tenor voice- and I heard him singing throughout my childhood” (1). He also says that he developed his voice to be an opera singer: “All of my training was to be not just a singer, but an opera singer” (2). From this evidence in the early pages, I can answer the question “How did he develop his voice and love of music?” He developed his voice in the operatic style under several different teachers in his childhood. He also gained wisdom, and developed of love of music, and more specifically opera, from his father.

As for my other questions: “What is his crowning achievement as a performer?” and “What is he like as a person?”, I have been unable to gauge an answer to these questions as it is still early on in the book. I anticipate that as I read further, the answers to these questions will come to light.

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Luciano Pavarotti – Royal Opera House. Digital image. People — Royal Opera House. Royal Opera House, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

(This photo is of Pavarotti in an opera)

Opening Thoughts

Being a musician, I couldn’t help but choose a book that related to music. As a singer, I had to pick a book about a singer. Immediately, the name Luciano Pavarotti came to mind. Possibly the greatest opera Tenor of all time, Pavarotti has earned worldwide acclaim even after his death. I’ve grown up listening to his performances, and each time being entranced by his voice. As to what book I would read about this virtuoso, I wanted to read something that he had written, in order to get the full personal experience. Pavarotti: My World, co-written by Pavarotti and William Wright seemed to be the definitive account of Luciano’s greatest performances, and his personal life.

Before I begin reading, I wanted to think of some questions about what I want to get out of my readings.

  1. Given we all know Pavarotti as an acclaimed Opera singer, what is he like as a person, not just a performer?
  2. What was his crowning achievement as a performer?
  3. How did he develop his voice and love of music?

I look forward to reading more about a long time idol of mine, and I hope that you can gain insights through my reading blog.

-Taylor Morton