PAVAROTTI PERFORMS AT POPLAR CREEK

When I did a posting in July on the top 10 historical things to know about Schaumburg Township, former Hoffman Estates mayor, Virginia Hayter,  suggested I might want to add a mention of Pavarotti’s performance at Poplar Creek.  This was certainly news to me so, here is a little rundown on the great tenor’s appearance in Hoffman Estates on one August night in 1984.

Having successfully opened for business four years earlier in 1980, the 1984 Poplar Creek concert schedule was in full swing.  It just so happened that in that year Pavarotti decided to try something new with a multi-city concert tour that had Poplar Creek as it’s first date.  (Other cities he performed in for the tour were New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.)

The August 13th concert was also intended to be a benefit for Chicago’s Lyric Opera and they did their part by providing their orchestra for the performance.  Conducted by Emerson Buckley, the orchestra also highlighted flutist Andrea Griminelli.  Pavarotti sang excerpts from Verdi’s Il Trovatore  in the first half of the show.  The second half had six songs from his recent album Mamma.

His performance proved to be a winner.  As a result of his stature in the music world, the ticket prices were increased for the performance and were the highest of any concert that year.  The lawn tickets were $10 while the pavillion tickets sold at $35, $50 and $65 depending on the seat.  And, according to an article from the August 14 issue of the Daily Herald, the concert was delayed 20 minutes because of a large traffic jam on the Northwest Tollway between Chicago and Hoffman Estates.

It turns out the concert drew around 13,000 attendees!  Did you get drawn into the traffic jam?  Were you one of the lucky ones to hear the great tenor in person?  If so, what were the memorable moments?  Or, was their one song in particular that you especially liked?  Jot down your impressions.  I’d love to hear your input.

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