It was with great sadness that I read of the death of Pavarotti this morning. The news of his death is making rounds of all the blogs today, along with links to his youtube performances such as Nessun Dorma and others. A few mention his affair and divorce, but quickly pass over it.
My favourite story about him comes from a concert he gave in Toronto. A friend of the family went, but she could only buy the cheapest seats in the house, which had her sitting behind the stage. (This was probably at Massey Hall). She spent the entire show listening to his voice being projected away from her, watching his back. However, when he came out for the encore, he turned his back to the main audience and sang Ave Maria to the people behind him. She never forgot, and the beauty of the memory always left her close to tears. The entire show was worth that one moment. The people in the expensive seats weren't pleased, though.
Whatever his mistakes, he always insisted his voice, his talent, was a gift from above. He used that gift to bring joy to millions. His crossovers with pop left many purists cold, while with others it brought the beauty of opera and true singing to a wider audience. There was nothing left undone with his talent. In that respect, he was a good and faithful servant who did well the gift entrusted to him by the Master.
I wish him peace in his eternal rest, and will remember to pray for the good of his soul, as his singing was often a balm to my own.