S. Pellegrino introduced its limited-edition Luciano Pavarotti tribute bottles with an opera-inspired event in New York City last week, complete with a performance and meal dedicated to the renowned late opera singer. Credited for "bringing opera to the people," Luciano Pavarotti not only wowed the world with his talent, but won over our hearts with his ability to fuse cultures, classes, and styles by making the formerly out-of-reach musical style of opera accessible to the general public.
The exhibition, entitled AMO PAVAROTTI, was put together to demonstrate "the maestro’s impact on the opera world, featuring iconic personal belongings including costumes and awards," according to a release. Although we in New York City were able to experience a preview of the exhibition, it will be formally held in Verona, Italy, from the end of April to September 2013.
Guests at the preview event were greeted with miniature bottles of S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, as well as tall glasses of champagne, and then moved into the first of many curtained-off exhibition rooms, which displayed Pavarotti’s life history on lit plaques along one wall and a print and photo montage of his life on the other wall.
The next room showed a video installation on different screens, all playing fragmented parts of a Pavarotti performance, while an adjoining wall displayed past costumes he had worn, all lit with spotlights, as well as cases featuring his prestigious awards. This was followed by a smaller room, which contained a full-screen video duet performance by Pavarotti and Celine Dion. Guests then ended in a grand room of tall cocktail tables and a stage, where a live opera performance was given by two young, emerging Italian opera singers, followed by an array of sweet and savory dishes from Italian favorite Ristorante Fini. Offerings included such items as Parmigiano-Reggiano mousse, balsamic crème brûlée, hand-shaved meats and cheeses, risotto with balsamic vinegar, creamy veal tortellini with white ragù, and more, as well as champagne, espresso, and other beverages.
S. Pellegrino and Nicoletta Mantovani, Luciano Pavarotti’s widow and head of the Luciano Pavarotti Foundation, make comparisons between Pavarotti’s message of "Italian excellence … through his love for music and the Italian lyric opera" and S. Pellegrino’s influence in "the haute cuisine scene."
"The tribute to Pavarotti comes during a year filled with special events and anniversaries in the world of opera," according to the release. "In 2013, the 200th anniversary of the births of celebrated opera composers Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner will be commemorated. Opera theaters around the world will feature programs in memory of the two composers. Additionally, 2013 marks 100 years of performances at the Arena di Verona Lyric Festival, an opera music festival held in Verona, Italy each summer."
But in her speech, Mantovani went further to focus on the "ideals of Italian excellence" promoted and supported through the Pavarotti foundation and this collaboration, including culture, togetherness, beauty, and emerging young talent. She focused on the term "Italianity," and the beautiful and unifying aspects of the Italian art of opera and Pavarotti’s ability to bring cultures together through the use of song.
S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, responsible for the event and special-edition bottles, are also brand ambassadors of the initiative "Live in Italian style." Their mission aims to "nurture and create synergies between the most excellent Italian companies and celebrities, symbols of style, innovation, culture and prestige." Former projects and partnerships, also resulting in special-edition bottles, included both Missioni in 2010 and Bulgari in 2011.
CEO of Sanpellegrino S.p.A. Stefano Agostini believes that celebrating Pavarotti and his remarkable talent and personality will enhance the "strong, positive image of Italy and the Italian way of living throughout the world," something that Pavarotti did in his lifetime, and S.Pellegrino strives to continue to do.
Tyler Sullivan is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter @atylersullivan