A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, opera a cappella now available at Albany Records

Thursday, September 6, 2007

My most interesting Luciano Pavarotti story

When I was on the staff of the Greater Miami Opera (now Florida Grand Opera) in the early 80s, folks like Pavarotti came with great regularity. They would not generally come for the whole rehearsal period, but for perhaps a week to a week and a half before opening. The company did a MASKED BALL with Pavarotti--Emerson Buckley, the artistic director back then was one of the tenor's favorite conductors and went with him frequently on the road. There were BALLO performances in three places, Miami, Miami Beach, and a challenging last performance up in Fort. Lauderdale. The Ft. Lauderdale location was much smaller than the two Miami locations, so many artistic compromises had to be made and the show was put up without a spacing rehearsal up there. Pavarotti sang fabulously and, as you may know, the tenor dies at the end of the show. Well, he died on the wrong side of the curtain and it came down, with him looking like a beached you-know-what. The curtain came back up a few feet, Pavarotti rolled under it, and the curtain came back down.

Frankly, working with people like Mr. Pavarotti drove me into regional opera where the budget are smaller, but he egos are too and where everyone collaborates and pulls his own weight. But
I view this as a positive lesson and still appreciate the opportunity to have been around productions with the likes of him.

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