Meat Loaf: The opera duet

Meat Loaf: The opera duet


norman lebrecht

January 21, 2022

A friend of Luciano’s, a purveyor (the media said) of ‘operatic rock’.


And orchestras just loved doing this.


  • MusicBear88 says:

    Remember that the purpose of this concert was to raise as much money as possible for the children of war-torn Bosnia. Pavarotti did them in Modena for ten years and was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace for his efforts, which generated many millions of dollars for people that many others had forgotten.

  • Gary Freer says:

    Well he would do anything for cash, but he shouldn’t have done that

    • V. Lind says:

      Why not? Is your vanity about musical purity so extreme that you cannot stand to see people have a little fun? Let alone do some real good?

      What possible harm was being done here? Pop music is not child rape.

      And so what if Pavarotti earned a little money? He would have been paid top dollar anywhere he cared to turn up. He hardly needed the recognition — he used it to draw in masses of people to watch, and used it to bring people very big, at least at the time, in the pop business to broaden the interest.

      From George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh on, through Bob Geldof and recordings like Do They Know It’s Christmas and We Are the World, pop musicians had done a lot to raise awareness and cold hard cash for good –often desperate — causes.

      Maybe Pavarotti, who admitted that he liked pop music, took a look around and realised that nobody in the classical world was doing anything similar or very much at all for war-torn and disaster-blighted places and their people, and thought he could lead the way.

      The resulting concerts routinely raised millions for mostly children’s charities around the world.

      You must live in a very twisted world if you can’t see the good outweighing what you perceive as the bad in a few concerts where people of real talent cooperate with one another and explore a little of one another’s musical worlds. No wonder there is war in the world if you can’t even down tools for Elton John or Eric Clapton.

      There is a huge difference between watchguarding standards in one genre of music and treating any other genre as if it and its creators and performers were pond scum. It certainly does not involve charity.

  • You can’t accuse him of catering to short attention spans.

    R.I.P. Mr. Loaf

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      I’d like to have a slice of that action!! It wouldn’t have been a gravy train either; and he’s now off to ‘meet’ his maker!!

  • Roland says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these videos. A great singer. May he rest in peace.

  • V. Lind says:

    I saw that Pavarotti and Friends concert — first I had ever seen. I subsequently watched others that preceded and succeeded it — this remains my favourite, and one of the two best.

    It was the first time I had seen Meat Loaf (and the other pop stars — I heard people say that these concerts drew pop fans to classical music; I went the opposite way, really exploring a little of it for the first time since I was a teenager).

    Among the voices I was most impressed with was Meat Loaf’s, though he was not one of the artists I followed up (I listened later to The Cranberries and Zucchero, and like their music to this day). I didn’t think Meat Loaf’s rep would appeal to me, though the only one of his own songs that he performed, and very well, at the concert was the very lovely song Heaven Can Wait.

    Indeed Bat Out of Hell is the sort of thing I rightly knew I would not like much, but that was a powerhouse performance.

    Later I heard that he had complained about the Pavarotti concert — I forget why, and whatever his complaints it did not show in his performance.

    I can understand why he has so many devotees — indeed I know some of them. He will be missed — he offered something unique in the pop world. RIP.

  • HugoPreuß says:

    First Pavarotti sings and then the other guy. The finale then goes back to Pavarotti. I’d hardly call that a “duet”.

      • HugoPreuß says:

        Thanks for the link! First time I hear Pavarotti doing a baritone! That was quite interesting. I had to google “Sheryl Crow”, however. Never heard of her. AND there are, IMHO, better versions of that lovely duet out there. But, I have to agree, it is a proper duet.

        • V. Lind says:

          I imagine there are better versions, but if you googled Sheryl Crow you will know she is a rock — not pop — singer, and this is a very creditable first effort for someone whose usual efforts are somewhat more plangent:

          Sheryl Crow, who was from another concert than the one involving Meat Loaf, was also someone who was just a name to me and I had to look up her work. Although it is not in a genre I am very responsive to, she writes her own material and there is some evidence in it that she understands musical form.

        • V. Lind says:

          Here’s one with a man:

          Most of the collaborations in these concerts were, mind you, as you said, alternate parts, both in pop participation in operatic arias or Pavarotti’s in their genre. But there are a few cases of the latter where it really worked, notably with Elton John in Live Like Horses and Luciano Ligabue in Certe Notti. But his most heartfelt duets were always with Zucchero and one passionate one, Caruso, with the late Lucio Dalla.

          These concerts introduced me to singers who were just names — if that — to me, and to a fascinating world of Italian popular and rock music.

          Pavarotti seemed to be having a lot of fun with it, so I followed some up and am very glad I did.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Meat Loaf; now there’s a name guaranteed to go down in music history (and never come up again)!

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    “Sir, how would you like your Meat Loaf done?”

    “I didn’t order Meat Loaf”

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I’m looking forward to the Domingo and Pot Roast concert. Can’t wait.

    • V. Lind says:

      Too late. He collaborated with John Denver. He recorded a Shania Twain song with Susan Boyle.

      Your comment is in poor taste considering a man just died.

  • Tom Phillips says:

    Turns out he died of Covid and was a resolute anti-vaxxer. In other words, a typical white Texan and right-wing neanderthal.