Flashback: Pavarotti at the Van Wezel, 1978

Pavarotti sang at the hall in 1978 and again in 1980.

By Ilene Denton January 3, 2020 Published in the January 2020 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Luciano Pavarotti

Image: Courtesy Photo 

Legendary opera star Luciano Pavarotti sang at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in 1978 and again in 1980. In his lovely little book, Performers at the Purple, the late Van Wezel managing director Curt Haug wrote that, after the superstar tenor sang “Ave Maria” as his encore, “he turned around slowly, the hall lights dimmed further, a spotlight came on and he sang it softly to the people on the stage… For me, at that moment, and for the next two minutes, the Van Wezel became a great cathedral—a truly great emotional moment.” As the Van Wezel marks its 50th anniversary this month, it’s nice to look back on moments such as this. 

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