Artist Details

Luciano Pavarotti

Arguably no other opera singer in music history achieved the same level of international celebrity as tenor Luciano Pavarotti; his voice -- robust, resonant, and immediately recognizable -- launched him into the stratosphere of household recognition usually reserved for pop stars and Hollywood icons, and in the process spurred opera itself on to new peaks of mainstream popularity. Born in Modena, Italy, on October 12, 1935, as a boy he enjoyed local fame as a member of the town's soccer team, and first sang in the chorus with his father, himself a fine amateur tenor and devoted opera buff. After the chorus won first prize in an international competition, the young Pavarotti's future was cemented: his solo debut came in 1961, portraying Rodolfo in a performance of La Boheme at the opera house in Reggio Emilia. His early success led to engagements throughout Italy and eventually Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, and London; Pavarotti's American debut came in February 1965, in a Miami production of Lucia di Lammermoor with Joan Sutherland (the first of their many pairings).