Luciano Pavarotti

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Born: October 12, 1935; Italy   Died: September 6, 2007; Italy  
One of the most successful and admired opera singers of all time, Luciano Pavarotti was king among tenors from the late 1960s through the 1990s. His voice was noted for its exciting upper register, and tailor-made for the operas of Verdi, Bellini, Donizetti, and Puccini, and as it darkened slightly over the years, for the verismo composers as well. His vocal longevity, which kept him singing youthfully well into his sixties, and still beautifully Read more after that, was a credit to his commanding technique and artistry, and remarkable considering his nearly 40 years of performing.

Pavarotti's father was a baker, and his mother worked in a cigar factory. As a boy, he sang alto in the cathedral choir, and when his voice changed he joined the Modena city choir. He had brief careers as a schoolteacher and an insurance agent; during that time, his major extracurricular activity was not music but soccer, and his play made him a local star. However, increased involvement in the choir (which took prizes in international competitions) led him to pursue vocal studies, and he eventually settled on singing as his aspiration.

Pavarotti studied voice with Arrigo Polo in Modena, then with Ettore Campogalliani in Mantua. His operatic debut was as Rodolfo in La Bohčme in Reggio Emilia (April 19, 1961), and soon increasing success led to a debut in Amsterdam on January 18, 1963, as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor. After singing the same role with Joan Sutherland in Miami in 1965, he was engaged to travel with her in the Sutherland Williamson International Grand Opera Company, touring Australia. In 1966 he appeared at Covent Garden as Tonio in La fille du régiment, where his seemingly effortless handling of the nine successive high Cs in the aria "Pour mon âme" sent his career into high orbit. He repeated the feat at the Metropolitan Opera in 1972, and for more than two decades after that he was a fixture on the operatic scene, appearing in nearly every major European and American house, and even China, where he performed Puccini's La bohčme in the 1980s.

Pavarotti appeared in the first "Live from the Met" broadcast on the PBS network and was the most consistent draw on that series for years. His outstanding catalogue of recordings on the London (Decca) record label preserves nearly every role he ever performed and is hard to match for its quality and scope. His charity work included AIDS benefit concerts and world hunger gala events, as well as his "Pavarotti and Friends" concerts to benefit children, especially in the former Yugoslav states. He also founded a quadrennial contest to identify talented young singers and boost their careers. And, as one of the "Three Tenors," he brought operatic singing to a wider popular audience than previously might have been thought possible. In 2003 he released his first solo crossover CD, Ti adoro. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, yet remained positive and hopeful of still being able to record and perform until his death. Read less
Browse 1-5 of 5 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    The Great Luciano Pavarotti
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5423592 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Puccini,  Cesare Andrea Bixio  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Andrea Griminelli,  Placido Domingo,  José Carreras
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Emerson Buckley,  Steven Mercurio
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano,  Emilia Romagna Arturo Toscanini Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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    CD: $19.99
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  • 2.
    Christmas with Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002577002 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Adolphe Adam,  Alessandro Stradella,  César Franck,  Saverio Mercadante  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Placido Domingo,  José Carreras,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Herbert Adler,  Steven Mercurio,  Piero Gamba,  István Kertész  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $22.49
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  • 3.
    O Holy Night [Special Edition] / Luciano Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000530102 Release Date: 10/11/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Franz Schubert,  Guida  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti
    Conductor:  István Kertész,  Leone Magiera,  Kurt Herbert Adler,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  Piccolo Coro dell'Antoniano  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 4.
    The Three Tenors Christmas / Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89131 Release Date: 10/31/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domingo, Placido, Jr.,  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Luciano Pavarotti,  José Carreras
    Conductor:  Steven Mercurio
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gumpoldskirch Boys Choir,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 5.
    Pavarotti & Friends 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444460 Release Date: 06/06/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Bryan Adams,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Performer:  Nancy Gustafson,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Andreas Vollenweider,  Giorgia  ... 
    Conductor:  Leone Magiera,  Michael Kamen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  Bryan Adams Band,  Andreas Vollenweider
    CD: $19.99
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