Thursday, September 06, 2007

Spirto gentil

Liz and I are vacationing in Maine, and we just heard the sad news of Luciano Pavarotti's passing. While nothing can match the sorrow of family and friends at this time, I can imagine that for all devoted fans like Liz and myself the loss of one of the most sparkling sounds ever to emerge from a human throat in my lifetime still cuts deep. I appreciate that the career was already almost over, but it is sad to think of the finality of death for such a warm life-enriching talent.

Among many, many memories, there is one that still stands out for me and that I will always cherish: My family was at home, not at the opera house, and it was a Saturday afternoon in 1978, and suddenly time stood still as the Fernando of them all gave us the aria that seemed to sum up the very essence of the persona in that voice, "Spirto gentil".

So thank you, gentle spirit, for the joy you gave all of us.

Geoffrey Riggs

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