Luciano Pavarotti: Portrait

One of the most popular tenor of the 20th century

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Program notes

With his fabulous voice and glowing personality, Luciano Pavarotti rapidly attained international renown, becoming a giant of both opera and popular music. In this unique portrait of this larger-than-life musician, Esther Schapira explores the personal life and legendary performances of the "greatest tenor of all time".

The film offers viewers a special opportunity to rediscover Pavarotti through a series of interviews with his ex-wife, Bono, José Carreras, Herbert Breslin, and many others. As José Carreras remembers in one interview, "I think that no one in the world of opera from the last generations of tenors had this colour, this sunny colour in the voice and this way to communicate." The documentary also considers Pavarotti’s role in opening opera up to a larger public and his ability to touch audiences the world over.

Pavarotti was born in Modena, Italy, in 1935. Over the course of his career, he worked with the most important personalities of the opera world as well as great conductors like Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Riccardo Chailly, and Herbert Von Karajan, to mention only a few. His extensive discography includes countless immensely successful CDs. In addition to his personal triumphs, Pavarotti was also devoted to developing the careers of up-and-coming singers—creating a voice competition for young artists—and through his yearly charity concert, an immediate success, he brought together artists from diverse musical backgrounds.

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