With the passing of Beverly Sills and Pavarotti, a great deal of my childhood has gone too. The grade school memories of field trips to the opera and to the symphony are so dear to me, a kid who’s only other exposure to classical music was those “Merry Melodies” cartoons. Those cartoons, and Leonard Bernstein, Paul Robeson, Sutherland, Marion Anderson, Leontyne Price introduced classical music to a whole generation of Boomer kids. Back then, classical music was for those rich enough to afford tickets and the fancy expensive clothes to go to the opera or symphony. My parents could hardly afford much more than movie tickets or the ice show: opera was beyond their wallets. But we were exposed to the fine arts thanks to these performers efforts and quite a few strong teachers who didn’t care where we came from, we were certainly capable of appreciating fine art. They were so unlike the stereotype of the aloof, high-strung, petty, arrogant opera diva or the snobby classical musician. They were down to earth enough to relate to a horde of curious kids who loved music no matter where it came from. They didn’t criticize rock or popular music, liked baseball as well as cricket, and could eat soul food with the regular folk-which also endeared us to them.
And now for my tribute:
Luciano Pavarotti Nessun Dorma (turandot) Torino 2006
His Last Public Performance.
I think he already knew he was dying (they say he was diagnosed later, but a man as attuned to his body as he was probably sensed it), and that this could be his last big performance. Now for the astrology:
Luciano Pavarotti was born October 12, 1935 in Modena, Italy where he also died on Wednesday morning, September 5, 2007. The transits I believe that freed him from suffering were Pluto inconjunct Pluto, Uranus inconjunct his Sun, and that Jupiter opposition Chiron (planet of the wounded healer). He was liberated, but not to this world.