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Puncturing Pavarotti

January 16, 1988

Randy Lewis in the Orange County section of Calendar, Jan. 10, . . . critiquing Pavarotti's Performing Arts Center recital, . . . comes up with a bell-ringer in his "Pavarotti Demonstrates Virtuosity as a Shortchange Artist."

Mr. Lewis, obviously, knew he'd generate wrath amid the Luciano legions of faithful, the camp followers, the claque, etc., but this self-proclaimed "greatest tenor in history," yes, in his own words "greater than Caruso," has become almost a megabuck conglomerate, a symbol of electronic technology and an arena master.

Mr. Pavarotti is, today, dependent upon the artificiality of an assortment of sound systems to beef up the decibel count of what is essentially still a rather light, lyric, one-dimensional vocal instrument to what he hopes will sound like a heroic tenor.

What nature has not provided, high tech will. Shame! I heard Pavarotti in days of yore when he was establishing himself. He did have a nice, sweet, lyrical voice not given to much tonal coloration. His El Camino College recital attested to this fact, but at least it was an honest recital sans the overload of equipment.

Yes, a 45-minute program is an insult to a high-paying audience. His concert fare also has scarcely varied in years. His recital only proved that his archrival, Placido Domingo, is the genuine article as the outstanding heroic "spinto" tenor in the world today.

FRANK R. WYNNE

Los Alamitos

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