Opera World Mourns 'King of the High Cs'

Pavarotti's legacy: That unforgettable, unmistakable sound
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2007 8:05 AM CDT
Luciano Pavarotti poses for a photograph in his dressing room after performing in Puccini's "Tosca" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, on March 13, 2004. Pavarotti, whose vibrant high C's and ebullient...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Placido Domingo is the better musician, but no other voice could match the late Luciano Pavarotti's, Anthony Tommasini writes in today's Times. The music critic looks at a career dotted with highs as lofty as the high Cs Pavarotti "tossed off" with "ease, pinging tone and utter glee" and concludes his take on Pavarotti's "Nessun dorma" with an unapologetic "Wow!"

Amid praise for Pavarotti's "powerful instincts" and "gleaming upper range" is a note of realism. Tommasini also raises the question of whether Pavarotti pushed himself hard enough: "Ultimately, for all that Mr. Pavarotti gave to opera, it’s hard to avoid feeling that he never completely fulfilled his potential."