Final Pavarotti Performance Facing Tight Scrutiny
Tue, 08 Apr 2008 11:00:45
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Leone Magiera, Luciano Pavarotti's longtime conductor, has revealed some surprising facts about the famous tenor—namely that he lip-synced his final performance at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy.
"The orchestra pretended to play for the public there, I pretended to conduct and Luciano pretended to sing," Magiera writes in Pavarotti Visto Da Vicino (Pavarotti Seen From Close Up), which was published by Ricordi last month. "It came off beautifully, no one was aware of the technical tricks."
The reason for Pavarotti's trickery was the severe pain surrounding his pancreatic cancer, which he was diagnosed with the previous summer. After undergoing surgery in early July, he cancelled all remaining concerts, started using a wheelchair, and died in September 2007 at the age of 71.
Pavarotti's former manager, Terri Robson, gave a more detailed reasoning for the decision in an email to the Associated Press, saying, "[His voice was] in great shape … but because of the extreme late-night temperature in Turin in February, for both him and the orchestra, it was decided that the only way to make it work was for him to pre-record."
Pavarotti cut his lip-synched performance of Puccini's "Turandot" a few days before his Olympics appearance. The orchestra prerecorded their parts separately. The last documented time Pavarotti lip-synched was at a Modena performance in 1992.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff