Yesterday in Modena, Emilia-Romagna Italia the greatest Italiano tenor of the 2nd half of the 20th Century (Gigli, Caruso & Lanza cover the rest of the century) passed away. Luciano Pavarotti
died at about 5 am local time in his home at Modena. His death was from the pancreatic cancer he was suffering from since 2006.
The Maestro was born 12 October 1935 on the outskirts of Modena. His father, Fernando, was a baker, his mother, Adele, worked in a cigarette factory. From these humble beginning he rose to the pinacle of opera stardom. Growing up he hoped to be a football (soccer) star. Instead he became an elementary school teacher. In 1954 he began his serious training as a singer. In 1961 he made is debut as Rudolpho in La Boheme
(a role he came to be identified with, see picture). He made his American debut at the Greater Miami Opera in February, 1965. He sang in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor opposite Joan Sutherland. They appeared on the stage of the Miami-Dade County Auditorium. It was his appearance as Tonio in Donizetti's La fille du régiment at Covent Garden on 2 June 1966. This role won him the title "King of the High Cs". On 17 February 1972 he made his now famous appearance in that role at the Metropolitan Opera
. With his nine effortless high Cs in his signature aria, he won acclaim from the audience & settled forever his place in opera history.
There are way too many roles & successes to list here. In 1990 he began on a new path in his career as a part of the 3 Tenors with Plácido Domingo & José Carreras. In 1998 he was given the Grammy Legend Award (It has only been given 15 times to date.). He used his fame & talent to raise money & bring awareness to a variety of humanitarian needs. He only made 1 movie (Yes, Giorgio! 1982). Over 20 of his live opera performances have been taped (mostly with the Met). Fortunately most of them are available on DVD.
His last appearances was on 10 February 2006. He sung Nessun Dorma as a part of the 2006 Winter Olympics
Opening Ceremony held at Torino Italia. It was the final act of the opening ceremony. His performance received the longest and loudest ovation of the night from the international crowd.
Anyhow here is a sampling of the work that he did over the years.
Schubert's Ave Maria
Torna a Surriento
with Meat Loaf
12. September 1995
Parco Novi Sad, Modena
Verdi's La Traviata
with Joan Sutherland
23rd January 1983
Che gelida manina
Mirella Freni as Mimi
San Francisco Opera 1990
Vienna State Opera 1984
O Sole Mio
La Donna È Mobile
Il Duca di Mantova
Vesti la Giubba
2006 Winter Olympics Torino
"Penso che una vita per la musica sia una vita spesa bene ed è a questo che mi sono dedicato."
("I think a life in music is a life beautifully spent and this is what I have dedicated my life to.")
MILLE GRAZIE MAESTRO!!!!!