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<<  -- 2 --  Kelly Ferjutz    SUPERB WRITING


Prodigies are not often known for their humble qualities, because if there really could be such a thing, would anyone ever know about the prodigy's existence? I don't think so. If you have a truly immense talent, and want to use it as it should be used, you have to have an enormous amount of confidence in yourself at all times. That's a nearly impossible trick, so of course, you'd also need a person (or several persons) to bolster your ego from time to time, just in case it should slip a bit.

Considering the joy that Luciano Pavarotti has brought to the world in the last 45 years, he's probably earned a few quirks. Chances are that he's elongated his career by cancelling some of his earlier scheduled appearances. I don't necessarily think he should have done that, but I can't sing like he does either, so how do I know (how does anyone know) why he backed out of so many performances at the last minute? It's not like he's the only artist who's ever done such a thing.

Herbert Breslin is as hard on himself as he is anyone else in this book. He wasn't always so nice, either, and he doesn't shy away from admitting it. He was brilliant most of the time and made a lot of money for a lot of people, including himself. But if you choose to believe what he says in his book, he did it for the right reasons -- the love of opera and classical music. It's hard to fault that, if you happen to love those art forms, too. Breslin made it possible for a lot of us to hear things we might not otherwise have heard, or even known about.

The birth and fantastic expansion of television played a major role in publicizing artists, and Breslin took advantage of this in many ground-breaking ways. He used the talk shows to bring -- and keep -- his artists in front of the public with creative exuberance. There are several pages devoted to the Pavarotti film Yes, Giorgio.

However, Pavarotti could also be generous to a fault, wanting to share his largesse, and Breslin does not stint in his telling of some of these incidents, too. Especially so in the pre-Three Tenors phenomenon, when José Carreras was first struck by his illness. It must be noted, also, that Pavarotti agreed to this book, and in fact, gave an interview to co-author Anne Midgette.

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Copyright © 9 May 2006 Kelly Ferjutz, Cleveland USA


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All Risks Musical - an irreverent guide to the music profession by Alice McVeigh