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More sad news: Pavarotti’s Machiavelli has died

Herbert Breslin, who masterminded Luciano Pavarotti’s career and made sure it triumphed above all others, died today in Nice, France. He was 87.

He was an old-fashioned music-biz rogue who came out of the motor industry and knew all the tricks of the trade. Many felt the lash of his tongue and the backlash of his covert manoeuvres. Some – I could name a few – never forgave him. But he fought like a tiger for his artists and he very rarely promoted a dud. Herb knew voice better than almost any agent I have ever known.

And he was fun at lunch, wicked about his enemies, self-deprecating about his own shortcomings. Unlike some of his rivals, he tried to put the art first.

Bye Herb, it was great while it lasted.

Here’s a picture I took of him.

And here’s a piece I wrote about him around the time his memoir came out, co-authored with Anne Midgette.

UPDATE: And here’s Anne’s appreciation in a Washington Post blog. And her full obituary.

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  1. Herbert was quite a character. Condolences to his family.


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