Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Remembering Pavarotti

Remembering Luciano Pavarotti

Tomorrow night at London's Royal Albert Hall a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award for Luciano Pavarotti will be presented to his widow, Nicoletta Mantovani, at the 2013 Classic BRIT Awards ceremony.

This large (86 x 54cm) watercolour was painted for the Birmingham Symphony Hall in 1997. My intention in all of the paintings of great performers for that Collection (now nearly thirty) was to make the painting sing, so that you can hear the music, as it were. But in this one I focussed on the moment of radiant relief and exhilaration just after he has propelled the last note of his concert into the auditorium. The sound of that incredible voice is still fading away, yet even now, it's still in our memory. Possibly the daily inspiration for everybody's O sole mio under the shower.

The handkerchief is an essential accessory in this characteristic gesture, as he moves forward into the spotlights. My festive, theatrical colours are chosen to symbolize the warmth and humour of that larger than life personality, perhaps the most famous voice in the popular concept of the world of opera. Ciao Luciano.


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