Pavarotti was an Italian tenor and one of the most popular contemporary vocal performers in the world. He not only sang opera but also other types of music. Known for his televised concerts, media appearances, and as one of the “Three Tenors”, Pavarotti became enormously popular after a performance of the aria Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s opera Turandot for the opening ceremony of the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. So let’s check out some amazing facts about the talented tenor!
1. He was born on 12 October 1935.
2. He was born in the outskirts of Modena in Northern Italy.
3. His father, Fernando Pavarotti, was a baker and amateur tenor.
4. His mother, Adele Venturi, a cigar factory worker.
5. According to Pavarotti, his father had a fine tenor voice but rejected the possibility of a singing career because of nervousness.
6. World War II forced the family out of their hometown in 1943 and they had to live in a single roomed house they rented from a farmer in the neighbouring countryside.
7. When Pavarotti was young, he developed an interest in farming.
8. His childhood dream was to become a football goalkeeper.
9. He spent seven years in vocal training.
10. While studying music, Pavarotti held part-time jobs in order to sustain himself . First as an elementary school teacher and then as an insurance salesman.
11. In 1955, Pavarotti experienced his first singing success when he was a member of the Corale Rossini, a male voice choir from Modena.
12. Corale Rossini, that also included his father, won the first prize at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen.
13. Pavarotti later said that this was the most important experience of his life, and that it inspired him to become a professional singer.
14. Pavarotti’s career kicked off when he was cast as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Boheme, in a small regional Italian opera house.
15. He made his Royal Opera House debut in the same role in 1963 when he stood in for Giuseppe Di Stefano.
16. On 28 April 1965, Pavarotti made his La Scala debut in the revival of the Zeffirelli production of La bohème, with his childhood friend Mirella Freni singing Mimi and Herbert von Karajan conducting.
17. His American debut came in February 1965, in a Miami production of an opera by Gaetano Donizetti, “Lucia di Lammermoor” with Joan Sutherland, the beginning of what would become an historic partnership.
18. In 1990 Pavarotti joined Spanish stars Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras at the soccer World Cup and introduced operatic classics to millions of football fans around the world.
19. While Pavarotti’s stage star faded in his sixties, he found new personal life, leaving his wife of 37 years for an assistant 34 years his junior and younger than his three daughters.
20 He married Nicoletta Mantovani after an acrimonious divorce.
21. In June of 1980, he sang the role of the duke in, Rigoletto for more than 200,000 people on the Metropolitan Opera’s summer stage in Central Park.
22. He underwent surgery in July 2006 to remove a pancreatic tumor.
23. His televised concert in London’s Hyde Park drew a record audience of 150,000 people.
24. He got a reputation as “The King of Cancellations” because he often cancelled performances, and this made him unpopular with some opera houses.
25. In 1998, Pavarotti was given a very special award: the Grammy Legend Award.
26. He struggled with a blood infection at the age of 12. He fell into a coma for 20 hours before regular doses of antibiotics saved his life.
27. Medical problems had beset “Big Luciano” in the final years of his career, forcing him to cancel several dates of his marathon worldwide farewell tour.
28. He gained worldwide notoriety in September of 1963, when he filled in for an ailing Giuseppe de Stefano in La Boheme at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. This experience led to his first appearances on television and a growing popularity.
29. By the end of that year, he had sung in Spain, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary.
30. In his role of Tonio in, La Fille du Regiment he belted out nine high C’s in a row, impressing every audience that season.
31. His accomplishment led to an appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, where he gained a whole new legion of fans. From then on, he became known as the “King of High C’s.”
32. He died on September 6, 2007.