At the “Pavarotti Forever” concert held on November 26, tribute was paid to mark the 10th year of Luciano Pavarotti’s passing. Definitive pieces from Pavarotti’s repertoire, from the stirring “Nessum Dorma” to the spirited “O Sole Mio” were performed by young operatic singers to the exuberant applause of the audience. These performers are part of the Fondazione Luciano Pavarotti, a foundation established to preserve the memory of the famed tenor and to support the next generation of performers.
“This performance was special because it was held to mark the anniversary of Luciano Pavarotti’s passing away,” said Nicoletta Mantovani, Luciano’s then-wife. She added that the performance was also held in multiple countries considering Luciano’s enduring, worldwide recognition, including in Indonesia. Here, Ciputra Artpreneur and the Instituto Italiano di Cultura under the Italian Embassy of Indonesia collaborated to conduct the concert.
The appreciation Indonesians have for Pavarotti is not one-sided. According to Nicoletta, the country, especially Bali, left a deep impression on Pavarotti who visited the island in the mid1990s.
“He found a smile on everyone in Bali. This is why he found the country really fantastic: people had the right attitude,” she said. These good vibes, she added, matched the “joyful and so full of life” personality of the singer. “He had a particular ability to make every person in front of him feel special,” she said of the maestro. “He loved people deeply and, for him, everyone was the same because every human being was important.”
It was this fervour for people and opera that propelled him to popularise the art globally by making it accessible to all. “He considered both television and album recordings as very democratic and popular instruments to bring opera to those who are not able to get seats in theatres or simply those who were not interested in opera since they do not know about it,” she noted.
Nicoletta further described today’s opera scene in Southeast Asia as filled with “positive excitement”. Notable Indonesian pianist Ananda Sukarlan composed a special piece called I Wish Pavarotti Had Met Marzuki, the latter denoting celebrated Indonesian composer Ismail Marzuki as a tribute to the tenor.
“I have observed a great interest and openness towards new talents; a huge will to commit to new shows and opera productions; and, most of all, a real desire to give the culture a greater space in people’s daily life,” she said.