Thursday, September 06, 2007

Luciano More: The Death of Pavarotti

I'm sad to hear that a great man has died today. Luciano Pavarotti, the most famous tenor in the world, and one of the greatest of humanitarians. Before there was Andrea Bocelli, there was Luciano the Light.

Pavarotti annually hosted the "Pavarotti and Friends" charity concerts in his home town of Modena in Italy, joining with singers from all parts of the music industry to raise money for several worthy UN causes. Concerts were held for War Child, and victims of war and civil unrest in Bosnia, Guatemala, Kosovo and Iraq. After the war in Bosnia, he financed and established the Pavarotti Music Center in the southern city of Mostar to offer Bosnia's artists the opportunity to develop their skills. For these contributions, the city of Sarajevo named him an honorary citizen in 2006.[14]
He performed at benefit concerts to raise money for victims of tragedies such as an earthquake in December 1988 that killed 25,000 people in northern Armenia.[15]
He was a close friend of Diana, Princess of Wales. They raised money for the elimination of land mines worldwide. He was invited to sing at her funeral service, but declined, as he felt he could not sing well "with his grief in his throat".
In 1998, he was appointed the United Nation's Messenger of Peace, using his fame to raise awareness of UN issues, including the
Millennium Development Goals, HIV/AIDS, child rights, urban slums and poverty.[16]
In 2001, Pavarotti received the Nansen Medal from the UN High Commission for Refugees for his efforts raising money on behalf of refugees worldwide. Through benefit concerts and volunteer work, he has raised more than US$1.5 million, more than any other individual.[17]

His 1982 Movie, "Yes, Georgio" happened to be the first movie I got to be in (I wind up as an extra in this, Black Rainbow, Toy Soldiers, and I think one more -- lotsa fun, you oughtta try it!) Anyway, in "Yes, Georgio", my role was to be an audience member at one of Georgio's concerts, which happened to occur at Boston's Hatch Shell -- named after Orrin and Richard Hatch, the Nudist Survivor. I suspect that if you get an electron microscope, you might be able to spot me in the crowd. I was near Fiedler's Head, although I'm not sure it was even there at the time. If it WAS there, it too was enjoying the music and festive jocularity. That is, if Arthur's spirit had any say in the matter, which, according to Science, it does.

May Luciano's spirit soar higher than the music he has brought to our thirsty earth, and may he rest among kindred spirits.