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Luciano Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti

Biography

The Caruso of our times, Italian lyric tenor Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007) was beloved by millions of vocal music fans. He was known equally for his leading roles in 19th century Italian operas and for his album collections of popular, folk and love songs. His voice had a quintessential Italianate character and a passionate delivery. He was known as the "King of the High Cs" for his effortless range, as displayed in his favorite roles as Rodolfo in Puccini's La Boheme, Nemorino in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, and Riccardo in Verdi's Un Ballo Maschera. His greatest success was as one of the the Three Tenors, a group of noted opera singers (including Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras) who performed at the 1990 FIFA World Cup. The recording of Carreras - Domingo - Pavarotti: the Three Tenors in Concert holds the record as best selling classical album. Born to a poor family in Modena, Italy, Pavarotti lived in a two room house listening to his father, a baker by trade but fine tenor as well, as well as to popular opera stars of the day. Pavarotti began his music study, unable to read music, at the age of 19. A disastrous concert early in his life almost convinced him to quit, but in 1961 he was encouraged once again by winning the Achille Peri Competition. From there, he began a 40-year professional career as an opera singer. Pavarotti died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 71 in Modena where his funeral was attended by thousands. Flags flew at half mast and signs in windows read "Adieu maestro."

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