Monday, September 5, 2011
As I am sure most people in the opera world know by now, operatic tenor Salvatore Licitra has died at age 43. Unfortunately, Licitra crashed his scooter into a wall on August 27 and sustained severe head and chest injuries. He was in a coma for nine days, but was pronounced dead today. This is tragic news for anyone who knew this man, not just for the opera world. Based on what I have heard from people who knew him, he was a good friend and colleague. This was not my first impression of him, although I never met him personally. I only saw one interaction with him as a person. I remember seeing him on the Today Show in an appearance with Marcello Alvarez to promote their duet album. The two of them were flirting with the host of the show. I do not remember who the host was. I remember she did not look pleased, so I do not think this was a staged thing. I thought, man what a jerk at the time. I was completely wrong. Truthfully, I knew nothing about Licitra as a person except that until I saw this moving youtube video which sent prayers for the people of Japan during the tragic tsunami which hit there. I searched his name on youtube, because I wanted to pay tribute to him. I was going to put something up with him singing, but I think this is even better. I will post this video on facebook for those who want to watch it. Salvatore Licitra was a man in society, first and foremost. The fact that he was famous is secondary to the fact that he is dead way too young. Life is a fragile thing. This tragedy could have been avoided. Mr. Licitra was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. I'm not here to make a corny plea to people to wear a helmet. I will just end by saying that self care is critically important. We only live once and we are fragile emotionally and physically. My heart goes out to Licitra's family, friends, colleagues and fans.