August 25, 2015 Eddie Shanahan

Luciano Lives

Luciano Pavorotti's House
Down a narrow country lane, between cornfields, outside Modena lies an understated but elegant house. A manicured driveway is barely noticed as the car negotiates a sweeping turn to the right. This is Luciano Pavorotti’s house, the house in which he lived and died.

Open until October of this year and maybe beyond, this is a family home. Cushions are scattered on a deep sofa. Books, art and a giant Jo Malone candle add sensibility. The tenor’s spirit and warmth pervade every room. You expect to see him smiling in the doorway or sitting by the polished ebony piano.

”This is Luciano Pavorotti’s house, the house in which he lived and died…”

Here a great man is cherished softly through the memories he left. Here his voice and the music are full yet gentle. Here the achievements, awards and orders of merit simply describe a person rather than shout for attention. Only once before – in the poet Robert Graves house in Deia, have I felt such closeness to someone I never knew.
Light pours in through a glazed roof. Galleries rise bathing bedrooms, a dressing room and a wonderful open space on the top floor . Many letters – some written in friendship, some in tribute, lie open. Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Bono, Diana Princess of Wales are among the writers. Sting sends his appreciation for a Christmas cake that will easily last a year.

Posters recording the performances of a career without equal and football jerseys, attesting to his passion for the game, hang on the walls like in any family den. Wonderful drawings and paintings of Pavorotti, sent by fans from all over the world form another layer of tribute.

His work for the children of Mostar is fondly recalled too. In the basement a fundraising concert video shows him smiling with real joy as he sings with Lionel Ritchie. His passion for helping those less fortunate pours forth.

Luciano lives, I expect him to be waiting at the top of the stairs.