CULTURE

Pavarotti show in Athens before 2005 retirement

Celebrated tenor Luciano Pavarotti announced recently that his last appearance on stage will be in the year 2005. Following that performance, he is planning to dedicate himself and his talents to teaching. Before he begins working with the young interpreters of opera, however, he is expected in Athens. The exuberant soloist will be with us in a few months, as the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) has approved the use of the Herod Atticus Theater for two nights, on May 31 for the dress rehearsal, followed by the concert on June 1. The application for the use of the ancient theater was made by the Elpida charity association, in charge of bringing the artist to Athens, and possibly to Thessaloniki. The upcoming event will mark the 68-year-old singer’s second appearance in Greece. He made his Greek debut performance at the Herod Atticus Theater in 1991, in a recital that pleased some of his fans and disappointed opera experts. He spent half of the evening in his seat, and though many expected him to sing for longer, the gaps were filled by the accompanying orchestra. Nevertheless, in the eyes of the general public, Pavarotti is the embodiment of opera. True, his voice and personality brought millions of young people closer to his art while he expanded his audiences through mixing arias with pop music. This took place in front of big audiences – rather than opera houses – in arenas, on television and film. His reputation was further consolidated by the famous «Three Tenors» performances (alongside fellow opera singers Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo) in outdoor areas and parks. The three voices joined forces for the first time during a music celebration in Vienna, an event which paved the way for broad audiences for crossover musical genres. The only child of a baker, Pavarotti was born in Modena, Italy, in 1935. Initially known for his football skills as a player with the local team, he was also a member of the town choir and was awarded a prize at an international competition. Pavarotti made his stage debut at the opera house of Reggio Emilia in April 1961, interpreting Rodolfo in Puccini’s «La Boheme.» His American debut in Miami followed four years later. Since then, he has been making international headlines with his appearances, recordings, awards and flamboyant personality.