It was forty years ago that Luciano Pavarotti signed a record contract with Decca Records. Since that time the great tenor has become a household name and the most popular artist in the history of recorded classical music. His concerts are thrilling and his stage presence and voice bring chills of delight to concert goers all over the world.
Born in Modena, Italy October 12, 1935 he was introduced to music at a young age since his father, Fernando, was a member of the city's chorus. Soon young Luciano was singing with them too. As a teenager, he won first prize in the Llangollen International Singing Competition which started his aspirations to become a tenor. He studied and practiced faithfully and it paid off by his winning the prestigious Concorso Internazionale in 1961. He then went on to his operatic debut as Rodolfo in La Boheme later that year, becoming an instant hit with the Italian operatic scene. From there it was engagements throughout Italy and then on to the international operatic scene with a debut in La Traviata in Belgrade.
Luciano Pavarotti has appeared on all the world's great stages, has performed before royalty, has performed with all the most glorious stars of opera, worked with all the talented conductors and entertained audiences everywhere. Even a torrential rain in London's Hyde Park did not disperse a delighted audience of over 150,000 people including the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Prime Minister. In 1993 Pavarotti performed to over half a million people in New York's Central Park while millions more watched the televised concert all over the world. Appearing with his friends, Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo, they have made The Three Tenors a must attend concert all over the world and a DVD that exists in every music lovers collection. Becoming the first ever classical album to reach the number one position in the UK Pop Charts, The Essential Pavarotti remained there for an unprecedented 5 weeks.
Being dedicated to the development of young talent, Pavarotti launched the careers of many young singers through his international vocal competition in Philadelphia. His annual charity concert, Pavarotti & Friends, has become world famous and he is joined onstage by the best known names in Rock, Pop and Jazz. These concert events have raised millions for major medical, vocational and educational initiatives in places like Bosnia, Cambodia, Kosovo, Guatemala, Liberia, Tibet, for Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan, and Angola in Zambia. This year's concert raised over 2 million dollars for Iraqi refugees.
Pavarotti's latest album, Ti adoro is a collection of new specially written songs whose main feature is a very pop mood. It also includes a bonus track of Pavarotti's immortal interpretation of Lucio Dalla's classic Caruso, re-edited with Jeff Beck on guitar. Pavarotti is currently on tour, an international farewell tour, as he announced his intention to retire at the end of 2005. The announcement was made following his appearance at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in March 2004. He will be performing throughout Europe, South East Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the USA on this farewell tour.
Luciano recently married his long term partner, Dr. Nicoletta Mantovani, and they have just celebrated the first birthday of their daughter, Alice.
Excerpts of text and images for this article taken from the official biography of Luciano Pavarotti with permission. For more details, photos, beautiful music, videos and concert dates; see the offical Luciano Pavarotti website: www.lucianopavarotti.com