No, I'm a Domingo girl. A long while ago I attended a recording of Michael Parkinson's chat show at the BBC theatre. I can't remember who the first guest was, but the other two were Sammy Cahn, the lyricist, and Placido Domingo.
At the end of the show Domingo sang "Be My Love", (Cahn had written the lyric for Mario Lanza) and it was absolutely spine-tingling, especially that last "eternally" where he hit the high note.
I watched Pavarotti in the park in the early nineties. He was already a huge icon by then, and my basic job was to camp out to hold a seat for friends and friends of (and suddenly "Leroy" from Fame showed up which was funny right here). I claim my giant BBQ stake, eat stuff, drink tea and read books for hours and suddenly Pavarotti himself shows up to do the sound check when it's barely one pm. OMG! He enters the stage, and everyone on it jumps along with the whole park.No, you don' get it a park full of cheese eaters suddenly go : wooooOO!" Like that! He wears a ginourmous bowling-cut Haiiwian shirt. Pavarotti. In a Haiiwian shirt. Haiiwian! Pavarotti! Oooh Emm Gee! And when he belts out the notes I can see the chewing gum stuck in his teeth. As he sings even the birds shut the fuck up. And this is New York. Because when he just tested the equipment he really tried those poor machines. Man did he ever have voice and range. To him this was barely an effort, meanwhile all of central park just shut the fuck up including the birds.
I was so impressed by his presence in the sound-check that I near fell over and had to go home. I eventually watched his concert on telly after holding two blankets there upfront for everyone else. dang.
I've also seen him in the le masquerade (?) yaknow, the opera where Gustav the third is shot? I recall that at the time I was wildly impressed with eth art direction which was equal wild and spot damn on, but also with his I-Own-the-world-voice.
It's a rare talent and I'm glaad to have been around when he was alive.
ps - I'm extra glad to have seen him live. I've seen many great great great talents live (for which I thank my artlovin mom) , and every time I see "lesser than hugely known talents" I think to myself that they might be next generations great great GREAT talent. Therefore I sponsor talent. The only thing you can do to join in is visit you local (jazzclub|comedy|theatre|opera|bar). Please do.
The man had the lungs of a Titan. My mom always had a crush on him and wanted to run away with him to a little Italian villa. (which is a little weird, cos she's so little and he's so ...large... and the rest of it doesn't bear thinking about.) She's pretty sad right now.