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CONCERT REVIEW

Pavarotti Pandemonium Hits Boston

Famous Tenor and Soprano Raspagoliosi Delivers Eleven Pieces and Leads Sing-Along to Close Evening

By Laura Rubiano-Gomez

Luciano Pavarotti

FleetCenter

November 25, 2001

With his many appearances on both the greatest international opera and concert stages, and on television, in movies, and in arena concerts, tenor Luciano Pavarotti’s has had an enormous impact on the world of music.

He has broadened the horizons of classical music, and has brought untold numbers of new fans, young and old alike, to his art. His thrilling tenor voice and unique personality have reached and touched countless audiences throughout the world, and he has become the personification of opera on television and voice recordings. From frequent appearances on Live from Lincoln Center and Live from the Met, as well as on documentaries and talk shows, Pavarotti has added to his musical renown, making him a household name worldwide.

Pavarotti performed at the FleetCenter in Boston on Nov. 25 as part of his North America tour. It was no surprise to anyone that the FleetCenter was almost filled to capacity as people from all walks of life came together to experience classical music at its best. Pavarotti was joined by beautiful Italian soprano Annalisa Raspagliosi, by Leone Magiera as the conductor, and by the World Festival Symphony Orchestra in a performance that brought out the best in Pavarotti to make this performance a truly magical experience.

The maestro himself put on a riveting program, which gave him the chance to sing his great duets, and his favorite arias and love songs. The truly remarkable aspect of that night’s performance was the ability of Pavarotti and Raspagliosi to effortlessly bring the duets to life.

Raspagliosi’s beautiful soprano voice complemented Pavarotti’s voice in such a way that only helped to emphasize his magnificent virtuosity.

The performance included two arias “Che Gelida Manina,” “Si, Mi Chiamo Mimi,” and “O Soave Fanciulla” from La Boheme. These two arias and duet form the closing of the first act of Puccini’s most popular opera.

At this point in the story the poet Rodolfo and seamstress Mimi have met and tell each other of their lives. Rodolfo is a poor poet who lives in poverty, building castles in the air. Mimi has no real story to tell, she only embroiders flowers for others to wear. The audience was truly captivated as poor Rodolfo and Mimi were brought to life not only by the voices of Pavarotti and Raspagliosi, but also by their gestures and facial expressions.

At every performance since his first formal recital on February, 1973, Pavarotti has created what critics have called “Pavarotti Pandemonium” with his direct and appealing nature, his amazing voice and his larger-than-life persona. His performance at the FleetCenter was no different. He captured the audience’s attention with the way that he entered and positioned himself on stage. He has a great imposing figure, but his jolly face and sweet demeanor make him seem more like an all-knowing grandfather than one of the greatest performers in the history of music.

After performing 11 pieces that ranged from Puccini’s “Recondita Armonia” to De Curtis’s “Non Ti Scordar Di Me,” Pavarotti was honored by a five minute standing ovation that turned the FleetCenter into a sea of applause, camera flashes, smiles, and screams.

As if it could not get any better, the encore was composed of three of the most widely known classical music pieces. Pavarotti began with a fantastic rendition of “Granada,” followed by an even better rendition of everyone’s all time favorite “O Sole Mio.” At the very end, the audience was given a once-in-a-life-time chance to perform with one of the greatest singers in history. During his rendition of Verdi’s La Traviata, the audience was allowed to sing the chorus along with Mr. Pavarotti and Miss Raspagliosi. It was the perfect ending to a magical night, one that the audience will not soon forget.