Saturday, September 8, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti: October 12, 1935 – September 6, 2007

We've all heard the news by now - that Luciano Pavarotti passed away on Wednesday, September 6, 2007.

Wow...what an amazing tenor!

Sure, I was familiar with him but I had to do some research on-line to really learn about his career as a tenor, which started in April of 1961.

Here are some facts that I learned about him - included are two cips at the bottom of this post...

- 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.

- Pavarotti made his American début with the Greater Miami Opera in February, 1965 singing in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor opposite Joan Sutherland on the stage of the Miami-Dade County Auditorium in Miami.

- On December 12, 1998 he became the first (and, so far, only) opera singer to perform on Saturday Night Live, singing alongside Vanessa L. Williams. He also sang with U2, in the band's 1995 song Miss Sarajevo.

- He received Kennedy Center Honors in 2001 and holds two Guinness World Records: for receiving the most curtain calls — at 165 — and for the best selling classical album (this album is In Concert by The Three Tenors and is thus shared by fellow tenors, Plácido Domingo and José Carreras).

- In 2001, Pavarotti received the Nansen Medal from the UN High Commission for Refugees for his efforts raising money on behalf of refugees worldwide. Through benefit concerts and volunteer work, he has raised more than US$1.5 million, more than any other individual.

- Pavarotti gave his last performance in an opera at the New York Metropolitan Opera on March 13, 2004 for which he received a 12-minute standing ovation for his role as the painter Mario Cavaradossi in Giacomo Puccini's Tosca.

- On February 10, 2006 0 Pavarotti sang "Nessun Dorma" at the 2006 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Turin, Italy. The final act of the opening ceremony, his performance received the longest and loudest ovation of the night from the international crowd.

Now, enjoy this clip of Luciano Pavarotti and James Brown...

Here's another of Pavarotti and Bono...