In 1935, in a small city in Northern Italy called Modena, Pavarotti was born. Little did that community know, back before Mussolini brought Italy into a World War, that they were the birthplace of one of a trio of tenors that would become famous and cross over from operatic vocals to find fame in the main stream.
Luciano Pavarotti died at the age of seventy-one reaching the type of success not many opera singers achieve. Here are some tidbits of information about the famous tenor.
1. He began singing with his father.
When he was just a child Luciano would accompany his father, also a singer, to rehearsals and shows given by the city’s chorus, a group of which he, the elder Pavarotti, was a member. He also took a professional singing trip to Wales with his father when he was just a teenager to sing with the “Chorus Rossini”, which would lead him to his first award, the Llangollen International Singing Competition. This would ignite Luciano’s desires to be a world class singer and destiny was set.
In 1961, after abandoning his teacher training, Pavarotti, Luciano that is, was presented with the respected Concorso Internazionale festival. He debuted at the Teatro Reggio Emilia in the role of Rodolfo in La bohéme the same year. This was a turning point in Pavarotti’s operatic career and there was no turning back.
2. He has shared the stage with some impressive people.
Montserrat Caballé, Piero Cappuccilli, Fiorenza Cossotto, Mirella Freni, Kiri Te Kanawa, Aprile Millo, Renata Scotto, and Joan Sutherland are only a few of the famous singers that Pavarotti has worked with. Although, odds are, the type of fame reached by opera singers was exceeded with it came to Luciano so, we can assume, these artists were equally thrilled, if not more so, to work with him.
Of course, we can’t forget the time he spent touring with José Carreras and Plácido Domingo as the three tenors in the 1990s. This grouping was one of the reasons Pavarotti reached the star power he did.
3. He has graced the stages of numerous opera houses and arenas.
Pavarotti has elated audiences in every corner of the map including opera houses like the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, Deutsche Oper in Berlin, La Fenice in Venice, Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, La Scala in Milan, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires as well as appearing in cities like Chicago, Florence, Rome, Salzburg, Sydney, Zurich, and San Francisco.
The arenas that have been lucky enough to hold the voice of this marvelous tenor include arenas in many parts of North and South America, Asia, Europe, Australia, South Africa, and the Middle East. Pavarotti has wowed listeners at Wembley Stadium, Madison Square Garden, stages built for the Olympics in cities like Barcelona and Berlin, The Hollywood Bowl, and an historic Roman Stadium in Orange, France.
4. One time, while in London, he sang in the rain.
On July 30, 1991, Pavarotti was schedule to perform in front of thousands, including the Prime Minister and the Prince of Wales. The concert was free and scheduled to commemorate his time singing opera. Pavarotti’s set list was filled with arias from some of operas greatest composers including Wagner, Puccini, Bizet, and Verdi.
Yet, the weather didn’t want to cooperate and of the expected 250,000 attendees, 100,000 of them stood in the rain listening to a spectacular concert. Concert goers, even the Prime Minister and the Princess of Wales, were drenched just like their subjects who listened alongside them.
5. He has taken certain operatic roles and made them his own.
While a good number of the roles Pavarotti sang were invented and created for and by tenors of the past, there is no denying that after he wrapped his vocal chords around them, they were not only his forever, it seemed that the parts were written with him in mind. Identifiable operas that he has taken ownership of include Aida, La bohéme, La Traviata, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and L’Elisir d’Amore.
6. His records are chart topping.
Many of Pavarotti’s opera performances were recorded and sold and many of them found slots on the best sellers list. Some of those hit records include many of the operas we have already mentioned and Don Carlo, Ernani, Norma, I Puritani, Manon Lescaut, Pagliacci, Idomeneo, Macbeth, and I Lombardi.
Besides his operas, Pavarotti has recorded Christmas albums, collections of favorite arias, songs hailing from Italian culture, and the Verdi Requiem. There is no wonder why this singer was a highly successful recording artists when one looks at the body of work he produced through his lifetime.
7. He spent his free time mentoring young singers.
Pavarotti was a man who believed in giving back. He knew that he was fortunate to have had such great successes with the arts and with opera that Pavarotti made it a mission of his to help youngsters with the same dreams succeed. He started his own singing competition in Philadelphia, which has gone on to produce some of operas best singers.
When his career reached a length of twenty-five years, Pavarotti sent an invitation out to winners of his competition to join him in Italy for a performance of La bohéme. From there, he brought his talent to China where he sang alongside youthful singers in Beijing.
8. He gave the very first concert at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
This building, which is part of Tiananmen Square, an area of Beijing that is infamously known for its secrecy, was the sight of the concert we previously mentioned with the young singers of China. Pavarotti was the first singer to perform there for a public audience.
9. He organized his own charity concert to help humanitarian charities.
Along with his second wife, Nicoletta Mantovani, Pavarotti started Pavarotti & Friends, a charity concert, in 1993. The idea was to bring singers of all genres to join him at his equestrian event to raise money. Some of the performers that have agreed to perform include Bryan Adams, Jon Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Bob Geldof, Elton John, Tracey Chapman, The Corrs, Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder and the Spice Girls.
It was as if Pavarotti somehow knew that pop artists would bring in big ticket sales, which would further his mission to help the needy all the more. Other famous artists to join Pavarotti & Friends, including Meat Loaf, the late George Michael, Joe Cocker, The Chieftains, Enrique Iglesias, Liza Minelli, Barry White, and Lionel Richie.
10. He was an equestrian.
Even though he was a gentleman of substantial weight, Pavarotti was a horseman of expert status. To celebrate this little-known fact about the tenor, every year there is a “show jumping competition” that works the “international circuit” titled Pavarotti International. It is this riding themed event with which the charity concert Pavarotti & Friends is in conjunction.
For the best opera performances from around the globe, why not visit here and start watching today?