Luciano Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti - Italian

Luciano Pavarotti was born in Módena in north-central Italy on October 12 of 1935. He was the son of a baker and amateur singer. The little Luciano wanted to be a soccer star but he started to enjoy of his father's recordings and the popular tenors of the day as: Bjoerling, Tito Schipa, and Giuseppe Di Stefano.

He began singing in the choir of a small church with his father and also studied singing with childhood friend Mirella Freni, who later became a star soprano.

Pavarotti travelled with the chorus of his town to an international music competition in Wales, when he was 20 years old. The success was of their side and the group won first place.

Pavarotti decided to abandon his studies to dedicate his life to singing and in 1961 he began his professional career as a tenor in Italy. His first international appearance was in La Traviata in Belgrade, Serbia.

In 1965 Pavarotti was invited by soprano Joan Sutherland to tour Austria where he earned valuable experience and recognition. Afterwards he made his debut in Miami-US.

Between 1966 and 1972 He made his first appearance at Milan's La Scala. In 1968, he debuted at New York City's Metropolitan Opera as Rudolfo in Puccini's La Bohčme. In 1972 at the Met, he earned the title "King of the high Cs" for his role of Tonio in Donizetti La Fille du Régiment.

In 1982, Pavarotti appeared in the film Yes, Giorgio. The same year he published a volume of his autobiography.

He was part of the "Three Tenors" with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, the group had a hugely successful. Pavarotti annually hosted the "Pavarotti and Friends" charity concerts in his home town of Modena in Italy, joining with singers from all parts of the world, including Andrea Bocelli, Bryan Adams, Céline Dion, Mariah Carey, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Sting, Bono, Queen, Deep Purple, Sheryl Crow, the Spice Girls, and Jon Bon Jovi, to raise money for several causes.

Luciano Pavarotti - Italian

The honours he received include: the "Nansen Medal" from the UN High Commission for Refugees, the "Freedom of London Award", The Red Cross "Award for Services to Humanity" and the 1998 "MusiCares Person of the Year", given to humanitarian heroes by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

At the opening of the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, in February month of 2006, Pavarotti performed Nessun Dorma.

During his farewell tour, in July 2006 Pavarotti was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. On Thursday 6 September 2007, the tenor died at home in Modena, aged 71. Pavarotti's funeral was held in Modena Cathedral.

After a funeral procession through the centre of Modena, Pavarotti's coffin was interred in his parents' grave in a village part of Castelnuovo Rangone.

Pavarotti had four daughters: Lorenza, Cristina and Giuliana, with first wife Adua; and Alice, with second wife Nicoletta Mantovani. He had one granddaughter at the time of his death.