The SBC Center? Has the legendary opera singer Luciano Pavarotti added an athletic component to his performance? There are rumors that during his show, the portly tenor will furiously race down the court with a basketball
Luciano Pavarotti; 40 years at the top.
7pm Thursday, March 19
SBC Center
1 SCB Center Way
224-9600 (Ticketmaster)
in hand, take a giant leap toward the hoop, and slam-dunk just as the 24-second shot clock buzzes. After tearing off his shirt and punching the air with a victory fist, Pavarotti is then said to let out a righteous roar before singing Queen's "We Are the Champions."

Well, maybe not.

In a 1966 performance of La Fille du Regiment, Pavarotti became an opera legend. He was the first tenor to sing, in full voice, all of Regiment's nine high Cs, an operatic feat comparable to the four-minute mile. He has spent 40 years at the top of the opera world, and as one of the acclaimed Three Tenors, Pavarotti has probably guaranteed another 40 if he wants it - even death can't diminish his fame. He is bigger than Oprah, and people want to see a living legend.

But is a basketball stadium the best location to hear opera royalty? A venue with class and ambience - such as the Majestic Theater - would be a better site. Although Pavarotti may be trying to accommodate as many fans as possible, and he will make more money performing at the mammoth SBC Center - where the acoustics are better suited for the thud of a basketball, not the voice of a maestro singer.

Pavarotti's prized voice sings for a regal venue. But people would rather brag about seeing Pavarotti from the nosebleed seats near the rafters of the SBC Center. Mass popularity always threatens to corrupt quality, and Pavarotti's concert at the SBC Center reveals that the tenor is not immune to that corruption.