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Luciano Pavarotti: Bio

Born on October 12, 1935, on the outskirts of Modena in north-central Italy, tenor Luciano Pavarotti made his operatic debut at the Teatro Reggio Emilia in 1961, performing as "Rodolfo" in La Boheme. He then made his international debut at the Royal Opera House in London in 1963, and, two years later, made his American debut in the Miami production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. Pavarotti went on to become a hugely popular and internationally known opera star, achieving a large following due to his recordings and television appearances, and ultimately helping expand the popularity of opera worldwide. He died in Modena in 2007, at the age of 71.

Early Life - Luciano Pavarotti, known for his larger-than-life showmanship that helped expand the popularity of opera, was born on October 12, 1935, on the outskirts of Modena in north-central Italy. The son of a baker and amateur singer, Pavarotti's family was crowded into a two-room apartment. By 1943, World War II had forced the family into a rented single room in the countryside.

Pavarotti wanted to be a soccer star, but found himself enjoying his father's recordings, featuring the popular tenors of the day such as Bjoerling, Tito Schipa and his favorite, Giuseppe Di Stefano. At around the age of 9, he began singing with his father in a small local church choir. He also studied singing with childhood friend Mirella Freni, who later became a star soprano.

At age 20, Pavarotti traveled with a chorus from his hometown to an international music competition in Wales. The group won first place.

Operatic Debut - Pavarotti abandoned a career in school-teaching to dedicate his life to singing. He won the international competition at the Teatro Reggio Emilia in 1961, making his operatic debut there as "Rodolfo" in La Boheme on April 29. He made his international debut in 1963, when he stepped in for tenor Giuseppe Di Stefano in the role of Rodolfo at the Royal Opera House in London.

Pavarotti then took part in the La Scala tour of Europe (1963-64). His American debut in February 1965, in the Miami production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, also launched his legendary partnership with Australian soprano Joan Sutherland. It was with Sutherland that Pavarotti took London's Covent Garden and the New York Metropolitan Opera by storm in 1972 with a sparkling production of a Donizetti favorite, La Fille du Regiment.

Pavarotti's voice and performance were very much in the powerful style of the traditional Italian tenor. He quickly became internationally known as a concert performer, achieving a large following due to his many recordings and television appearances.

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

Collaborations - Pavarotti's participation in the Three Tenors with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras was hugely successful, and has been credited with bringing classical music to the masses at a level never seen previously.

1 Nessun Dorma (Turandot)  
2 Che gelida manina (La boheme)  
3 Una furtiva lagrima (L'elisir d'amore)  
4 Ah mes amis...pour mon ame (La fille du regiment)  
5 La donna e mobile (Rigoletto)  
6 Di quella pira (Il trovatore)  
7 E lucevan le stelle (Tosca)  
8 Vesti la giubba (Pagliacci)  
9 Donna non vidi mai (Manon Lescaut)  
10 Favorita del re...Spirito gentil (La Favorita)  
11 La fleur que tu m'avais jetee (Carmen)  
12 O soave fanciulla (La boheme)  
13 Recondita armonia (Tosca)  
14 Pourquoi me reveiller (Werther)  
15 M'appari (Martha)  
16 Ch'ella mi creda libero e lontano (La Fanciulla del West)  
17 Celeste Aida (Aida)  
18 Di rigori armato il seno (Der Rosenkavalier)  
19 Come un bel di di Maggio (Andrea Chenier)  
20 A te, o cara (I Puritani)  
21 Addio, fiorito asil (Madama Butterfly)  
22 Ingemisco (Verdi Requiem)  
23 Amor ti vieta (Fedora)  
24 O Paradiso (L'Africaine)  
25 Questa o quella (Rigoletto)  
26 Nessun Dorma (Live in Verona)  
27 O Sole Mio  
28 Caruso  
29 La Danza  
30 Volare  
31 Torna a Surriento  
32 Ti adoro  
33 Buongiourno a te  
34 Passione  
35 La Mia Canzone Al Vento  
36 Non ti scordar di me  
37 Mamma  
38 L'ultima canzone  
39 Serenata  
40 Mattinata  
41 Das Land des Lachelns - Tu che m'hai preso il cor  
42 Core 'ngrato  
43 Il Canto  
44 Il gladiatore  
45 Schubert: Ave Maria  
46 Panis Angelicus  
47 Beethoven: In questa tomba oscura  
48 Santa Lucia (David Romano)  
49 Caro mio ben  
50 Granada  
51 Funiculi, funicula  
52 Libiamo ne'lieti calici (Brindisi) - Live  
53 Au fond du temple saint  
54 Chi mi frena in tal momento (Lucia di Lammermoor)  
55 Si, pel ciel marmoreo giuro... (Otello)  
56 Angiol di pace (Live from Lincoln Center)  
57 Notte 'e piscatore (Andrea Bocelli)  
58 Miserere (Studio Version)  
59 Miss Sarajevo (Studio)  
60 Live Like Horses (Studio)  
61 I Hate You Then I Love You  
62 Hero  
63 Holy Mother  
64 The Magic of Love  
65 Too Much Love Will Kill You  
66 Mamma  
67 When We Dance  
68 You're The First, The Last, My Everything  
69 It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World  
70 Perfect Day  
71 Nessun Dorma (3 Tenors 1990 Version)  

To coincide with the theatrical release of the highly anticipated Ron Howard-directed documentary "Pavarotti," Decca Records releases the new 3-CD best of collection titled Pavarotti: The Greatest Hits from Decca/UMG. The complementary releases both feature previously unreleased music and superstar duets with the likes of Bono, Elton John, James Brown, Lou Reed, and more.

Pavarotti's incredible repertoire can be explored in depth with the new three-disc/digital best of collection, Pavarotti: The Greatest Hits, which serves as a companion to the soundtrack and film. The anthology features 67 of the world-renowned tenor's most well-known recordings and collaborations and includes the best of his "Opera Arias," "Italian Songs & Sacred Arias" and"Great Duets." Fittingly opening with his iconic performance of "Nessun dorma," the "Opera Arias" disc spans the opera legend's entire career and includes beloved performances from "La bohéme," "Rigoletto," "Pagliacci," "Tosca," "Carmen" and"Madama Butterfly." More than 20 of Pavarotti's most powerful works including "O Sole Mio," "Caruso," "Volare," "O Holy Night," "Mama" and"Funiculì, funiculà" are collected together on "Italian Songs & Sacred Arias."