When famed opera singer Luciano Pavarotti passed away in September, few realized how it personally affected Joseph Mascolo.
The Days of Our Lives actor and world-famous artist were actually longtime friends. Below, Mascolo shared a few memories of his pal with Soap Opera Digest:
Joseph Mascolo: Oh, God. I spent a lot of time crying. He and I had a great time together. We worked together, which was a lot of fun. We also ate well and drank some good wine. It just hurts my heart that that voice is gone. I mean, there are a lot of great recordings of Luciano all over the place, but that voice is now gone.
And that's what kills me, because it is one of the most unique, beautiful voices of our century. A tenor like Pavarotti, all he had to do was sing three or four notes and you knew it was him.
Digest: How long were the two of you friends?
Mascolo: Since we made the movie Yes, Georgio (1982).
Digest: Did you hit it off immediately?
Mascolo: Oh, yeah. He was so funny. He looked at me the first time we met; my voice is a little deeper than most of the guys [who were around the set]. So he said, "Ah, you sing?" I said, "No, no, no. You sing. I'm the actor."
Digest: Can you share any stories about Pavarotti?
Mascolo: I'll tell you a funny anecdote that I told him. We laughed our heads off over it. The first time he sang in the United States was in Florida. Joan Sutherland was the star [of a Miami production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor in 1965], and I was sitting in the pit. I used to be a classical musician, and I was playing solo clarinet in the pit. Well, the tenor got sick.
I don't remember exactly what happened, but they had to replace him. Joan, who was a good friend of Pavarotti when he was young and first starting out, suggested him. He came in and was magnificent. I told him, "I was in the pit the first time you sang in the United States. Now here we are 20 odd years later, making a movie together." So we laughed and cried and drank more wine.