I'm not a politician, I'm a musician. I care about giving people a place where they can go to enjoy themselves and to begin to live again. To the man you have to give the spirit, and when you give him the spirit, you have done everything.
On his charity concerts and relief efforts for Bosnia, in BBC Music Magazine (April 1998)
I remember when I began singing, in 1961, one person said, "run quick, because opera is going to have at maximum 10 years of life." At the time it was really going down. But then, I was lucky enough to make the first Live From the Met telecast. And the day after, people stopped me on the street. So I realized the importance of bringing opera to the masses. I think there were people who didn't know what opera was before. And they say "Bohème", and of course "Bohème is so good."
I am a very simple person. In spite of all that has happened to me, I have tried to remain the simple person I started out.
Every day I remind myself of all that I have been given. … With singing, you never know when you are going to lose the voice, and that makes you appreciate the time that you have when you are still singing well. I am always thanking God for another season, another month, another performance.
As an art form, opera is a rare and remarkable creation. For me, it expresses aspects of the human drama that cannot be expressed in any other way, or certainly not as beautifully.
In opera, as with any performing art, to be in great demand and to command high fees you must be good of course, but you must also be famous. The two are different things.
It is not always a matter of wild ovations and legendary performances. Sometimes you are just happy to get through an opera without trouble.
For all three of us, the Caracalla concert was a major event in our lives. I hope I am not immodest to think it was also unforgettable for most of the people who were present.
Some can sing opera, Luciano Pavarotti was an opera. No one could inhabit those acrobatic melodies and words like him. He lived the songs, his opera was a great mash of joy and sadness; surreal and earthy at the same time; a great volcano of a man who sang fire but spilled over with a love of life in all its complexity, a great and generous friend. … I spoke to him last week... the voice that was louder than any rock band was a whisper. Still he communicated his love. Full of love. That's what people don't understand about Luciano Pavarotti. Even when the voice was dimmed in power, his interpretive skills left him a giant among a few tall men.
He was always helpful to me, supporting me in my very difficult moments as well, due also to a severe illness. He was very close to me, he was calling me quite often and giving me a lot of support and putting me in the right spirit.
I had the pleasure of not only performing for him in tribute, but performing in his stead at the Grammy Awards in 1998, singing 'Nessun Dorma.' I had one magnificent and absolute and defining moment when he came to the stage to thank me for my performance. The world has lost one of the greatest voices of all time.
Pavarotti made a profound contribution not only to music and the arts, but also to people in need around the world. His work for children — particularly those affected by armed conflict — stretched from Afghanistan to Liberia and beyond. By staging concerts and marshaling talented friends to help raise funds, he generated millions of dollars for humanitarian aid.