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Luciano Pavarotti

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Biography

Luciano Pavarotti, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (October 12, 1935 – September 6, 2007) was a celebrated Italian tenor in operatic music, who successfully crossed into popular music becoming one of the most beloved vocal performers. Known for his televised concerts, media appearances, and as one of The Three Tenors, Pavarotti also was noted for his charity work benefiting refugees, the Red Cross and other causes.

In 1955 he experienced his first singing success when he was a member of the Choral Rossini, a male choir from Modena which also included his father, which won first prize at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales; he later said that this was the most important experience of his life, which had inspired him to turn professional. At about this time Pavarotti first met Adua Veroni, an opera singer, whom he married in 1961.

When his teacher Arrigo Pola moved to Japan, Pavarotti became a student of Ettore Campogalliani who at that time was also teaching Pavarotti's childhood friend, Mirella Freni whose mother worked with Luciano's in the cigar factory. Like Pavarotti, Freni was destined to operatic greatness. (They were to share the stage many times and make memorable recordings together.)

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 2003, he released his final compilation, Ti Adoro, which has Pavarotti singing in more of a "popera" style.

In early 2006, he had back surgery and contracted an infection while in the hospital, forcing cancellation of concerts in the U.S., Canada and the UK..

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

Pavarotti himself summarized his career as follows: "I think a life in music is a life beautifully spent and this is what I have devoted my life to."

According to several reports, before he died the singer had reconciled with the Roman Catholic Church and received the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick before his death.

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 music industry to raise money for several UN causes. Concerts were held for War Child, and victims of war and civil unrest in Bosnia, Guatemala, Kosovo, and Iraq. After the war in Bosnia, he financed and established the Pavarotti Music Center in the southern city of Mostar to offer Bosnia's artists the opportunity to develop their skills. For these contributions, the city of Sarajevo named him an honorary citizen in 2006.

He performed at benefit concerts to raise money for victims of tragedies such as an earthquake in December 1988 that killed 25,000 people in northern Armenia.

He was a close friend of Diana, Princess of Wales. They raised money for the elimination of land mines worldwide. He was invited to sing at her funeral service, but declined, as he felt he could not sing well "with his grief in his throat". He nonetheless attended the service.



 


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