Luciano Pavarotti Biography

(Italian Operatic Tenor Regarded as the 'King of the High Cs')

Birthday: October 12, 1935 (Libra)

Born In: Modena, Italy

Popularly known as ‘the King of the High Cs’, Luciano Pavarotti was a well-known operatic tenor. Blessed with a rare voice range, he left audiences across the globe spellbound and was one of the most commercially successful tenors. He established himself as one of the finest baritone singers of the twentieth century and was appreciated for the beauty and brilliance of his tone. The combination of the accuracy of pitch and the natural range of voice was one of his best attributes, which earned him great commercial success. He also became popular for his televised concerts that attracted a large number of audience. To him goes the credit for increasing the popularity of opera the world over and he is best known for his bel-operatic works such as ‘La boheme’, ‘Tosca’ and ‘Madama Butterfly’. He also spent time on humanitarian efforts and worked for the amelioration of refugees. He was a part of the Red Cross Team and served at various other philanthropic organizations. He organized the world-famous annual charity concert, ‘Pavarotti & Friends’ that raised millions of dollars for the charities he supported. He made many classical crossovers and pop recordings and also worked with the Irish rock band, ‘U2’.

Quick Facts

Italian Celebrities Born In October

Also Known As: Luciano Pavarotti Cavaliere di Gran Croce

Died At Age: 71


Spouse/Ex-: Adua Veroni (m. 1961–2000), Nicoletta Mantovani (m. 2003–2007)

father: Fernando Pavarotti

mother: Adele Venturi

children: Alice Pavarotti, Cristina Pavarotti, Giuliana Pavarotti, Lorenza Pavarotti, Riccardo Pavarotti

Born Country: Italy

Opera Singers Classical Singers

Died on: September 6, 2007

place of death: Modena, Italy

Cause of Death: Pancreatic Cancer

City: Modena, Italy

  • 1

    What are some of Luciano Pavarotti's most famous opera performances?

    Some of Luciano Pavarotti's most famous opera performances include "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's "Turandot," "La donna è mobile" from Verdi's "Rigoletto," and "Ah! Mes amis" from Donizetti's "La Fille du Régiment."

  • 2

    How did Luciano Pavarotti become known as the "King of the High Cs?"

    Luciano Pavarotti gained the nickname "King of the High Cs" due to his exceptional ability to hit and sustain high C notes with clarity and power, a skill that set him apart as one of the greatest tenors in history.

  • 3

    What was Luciano Pavarotti's approach to preparing for his opera performances?

    Luciano Pavarotti was known for his meticulous preparation before opera performances, which included rigorous vocal exercises, careful study of the music and libretto, and maintaining a disciplined diet to ensure vocal health.

  • 4

    How did Luciano Pavarotti contribute to popularizing opera around the world?

    Luciano Pavarotti played a significant role in popularizing opera by collaborating with pop artists, participating in televised concerts and events, and promoting opera through various media platforms, helping to bring the art form to a wider audience.

Childhood & Early Life

Luciano Pavarotti’s father, Fernando Pavarotti was an amateur tenor but failed to make it big. Young Pavarotti developed an interest in music after he listened to his father’s recordings, which featured popular tenors like Bjoerling, Tito Schipa, and his favorite, Giuseppe Di Stefano.

He faced poverty in his childhood and lived in a rented single-room apartment with his parents. He started singing with the local church choir at the age of nine and spent seven years training his vocals to become a successful tenor.

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In 1954, Luciano studied music with Arrigo Pola, a professional tenor in Modena. In 1955, he participated in the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales, as a member of the Corale Rossini voice choir, where they won the first prize.

In 1961, he made his operatic debut as Rodolfo, in La Boheme at the Teatro Reggio Emilia. He made his international debut in 1963 as ‘Rodolfo’, for tenor Giuseppe Di Stefano at the Royal Opera House in London.

In 1965, he made his American debut in the Miami Production, ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’. The same year he formed a partnership with Australian soprano Joan Sutherland.

He performed "La Fille du Régiment" at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1972. In 1977, he delivered his first live performance on television. This attracted a large television audience.

Pavarotti got more international fame in 1990 when the BBC made "Nessun Dorma," the theme song of their TV coverage of the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

He gave a free performance in 1993, at the Great Lawn of New York’s Central Park. The concert attracted over one million people apart from the millions of viewers who watched the event on television from around the world.

In 1998, he became the first opera singer to perform on ‘Saturday Night Live’, performing alongside Vanessa L. Williams. In 2003, he released ‘Ti Adoro’, his first and only ‘crossover’ album. It was produced by Michele Centonze.

In 2006, he delivered his last major performance on ‘Nessun Dorma’, at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Italy.

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Major Works

In 1990, he released the album, ‘The Essential Pavarotti’. It was the first ever classical album to reach the number one position in the UK Top Charts and remained there for an unprecedented five-week period.

He established the world-famous annual charity concert, ‘Pavarotti & Friends’, which brought together artists from different parts of the music industry, including Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, Elton John, and Spice Girls. These charity concerts have raised millions of dollars over the years, which he donated towards humanitarian efforts.

Awards & Achievements

In 1998, he was honored with the Grammy Legend Award.

He holds two ‘Records’, one for receiving the most curtain calls and another for the best-selling classical album, ‘The Three Tenors.’

In 1998, he was appointed as the United Nations Messenger of Peace.

In 2001, he was awarded the Nansen Medal from the UN High Commission for Refugees.

In 2006, he was conferred honorary citizenship by the city of Sarajevo.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Adua Veroni in 1961 and they had three children.

In 2003, he married his former personal assistant Nicoletta Mantovani. They had a child together.

He passed away due to a pancreatic tumor. He is survived by four daughters and his ex-wife Adua.

Facts About Luciano Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti had a passion for cooking and was known to be quite skilled in the kitchen, often preparing meals for his friends and family.

Pavarotti was known for his love of football (soccer) and was a devoted fan of the Italian team Juventus.

Despite his operatic fame, Pavarotti also enjoyed experimenting with different musical genres, collaborating with artists such as Bono, Elton John, and Sting.

Pavarotti had a deep love for his home country of Italy and was actively involved in various charitable endeavors to support causes such as education and humanitarian efforts.


Primetime Emmy Awards
1985 Outstanding Individual Achievement - Classical Music/Dance Programming - Performing Great Performances (1971)
1983 Outstanding Classical Program in the Performing Arts La bohème (1982)
Grammy Awards
1999 Legend Award Winner
1991 Best Classical Vocal Performance Winner
1989 Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance Winner
1982 Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance Winner
1980 Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance Winner
1979 Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance Winner

See the events in life of Luciano Pavarotti in Chronological Order

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