"I think a life in music is a life beautifully spent and this is what I have devoted my life to."
I remember the first time I saw him in concert. My mother made special velvet dresses for me and my sister. I think we were the only little ones there at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh. Those were the days when people really dressed up to go to the symphony, and it was truly magical to glide down the red velvet staircases of Heinz Hall and count the crystals in the chandeliers. It was such a special occasion--Pavarotti and Joan Sutherland singing together.
We stood in line for over an hour after the concert waiting at the stage door where the stars were going to sign autographs. I remember dad holding my sister--I was too big to be held, and too excited to be tired. It was cold. Dad was wearing a woolen Italian cape over his tuxedo. I can picture vividly how handsome he looked and how warm the cape was as I stood under it to stay warm.
Finally the line began to move. I remember Pavarotti being very kind, and Kristen and I received special attention from him and Joan Sutherland for being so well-behaved (and awake) at such a late hour. I still have that autograph.
I saw him again--standing room only--in NYC several years ago. I went by myself, again in velvet, and was enthralled by his voice. I always have been. I hoped to meet him again, but there was no opportunity.
It is hard for me to lose him right now, not only for the great talent that the world loses in his passing, but also because he represents a significant part of my childhood. He is a significant factor in my fond memories of my father, whose health is ailing at the moment, and who may never return to his most vital self. Pavarotti's death is deeply saddening in its own right, and as an untimely marker of the transition in my father's life.
It is so hard to lose the people we love.