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20 July 2018, 11:17
Even the greatest tenors have an off-day, and Pavarotti wasn’t easily forgiven for this one – at least, not by the hard-core opera fans at La Scala.
The production went swimmingly until the second act, when the tenor’s voice cracked on a high B, and the upper balconies (otherwise known as the ‘loggionisti’) booed him when he took his bow.
Later, Pavarotti spoke about the incident in an interview.
“How bad is the pressure?,” the interviewer asked him.
“Truthfully? I think it’s an enjoyment, I don’t think it’s a job,” Pavarotti replied. “It’s not a profession. I’m telling the truth – otherwise, I wouldn’t still do it now at my age.
“But if you do something wrong, the [fans] can protest – they can boo you.”
Of the loggionisti at La Scala – who are known for catcalling – Pavarotti said: “They live to go the opera every night, and they give all their love to the opera. They think they are the ultimate judge of what is going to happen there, and they think they have the right to applaud or to boo.
“And if you want to know my opinion, they are right.”