The legendary bel canto tenor introduced classical music to the masses. We salute him five years to the day he succumbed to cancer.

Pavarotti has had his disparagers. There were occasions when he did not arrive for rehearsals and times when he cancelled performances, and for some years the managements of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Lyric Opera of Chicago would not engage him because of his cancellations. There have been criticisms of his stage acting, which some have found wooden, at least by the more sophisticated maxims of recent decades (I personally do not share this view, as I feel he acted feelingly if simply, but it has to be reported). And there are those who just do not care for his interpretations or his style of singing.

I personally believe that posterity, as a whole, will remember Luciano Pavarotti as one of the very greatest and most very remarkable performers in the history of classical music – and, especially later in his career, an artist who could give you a powerful surprise. In saying ‘Addio Luciano’, I would like to pay my last respects by remembering the only time he performed the...

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