Seventeen Curtain Calls for Pavarotti

“I think a life in music is a life beautifully spent and this is what I have devoted my life to.”

Luciano Pavarotti (12 October 1935 – 6 September 2007) was an Italian tenor and one of the most popular vocal performers in the world of opera.

“Every day I remind myself of all that I have been given. … With singing, you never know when you are going to lose the voice, and that makes you appreciate the time that you have when you are still singing well. I am always thanking God for another season, another month, another performance.”

“It is not always a matter of wild ovations and legendary performances. Sometimes you are just happy to get through an opera without trouble.”

Pavarotti began his career as a tenor in smaller regional Italian opera houses, making his debut as Rodolfo in “La Bohème” at the Teatro Municipale in Reggio Emilia in April 1961.

“I remember when I began singing, in 1961, one person said, “run quick, because opera is going to have at maximum 10 years of life.” At the time it was really going down. But then, I was lucky enough to make the first Live From the Met telecast. And the day after, people stopped me on the street. So I realized the importance of bringing opera to the masses”

“As an art form, opera is a rare and remarkable creation. For me, it expresses aspects of the human drama that cannot be expressed in any other way…”

Luciano Pavarotti Drawing

“I had the pleasure of not only performing for him in tribute, but performing in his stead at the Grammy Awards in 1998, singing ‘Nessun Dorma.’ I had one magnificent and absolute and defining moment when he came to the stage to thank me for my performance.” – Aretha Franklin

His major breakthrough in the United States came on 17 February 1972, in a production of La Fille du Régiment at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, in which he drove the crowd into a frenzy with his nine effortless high Cs in the signature aria. He achieved a record seventeen curtain calls.

Pavarotti’s one venture into film, a romantic comedy called “Yes, Giorgio” (1982).

“I always admired the God-given glory of his voice — that unmistakable special timbre from the bottom up to the very top of the tenor range. … I also loved his wonderful sense of humor.” Placido Domingo

“Nothing that has happened has made me feel gloomy or remain depressed. I love my life.”


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