Stories » There are many 'mamma mia! moments in 'Pavarotti' doc / Closer

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There are many 'mamma mia! moments in 'Pavarotti' doc / Closer

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Italian operatic legend Luciano Pavarotti's life was as passionate and dramatic as any opera. "He was very romantic, and we had many fights, like all couples," his widow, Nicoletta Mantovani, 49, recently gushed to Closer Weekly in an exclusive interview, on newsstands now. "There was fire in us." When she told him she was flying back to Italy from New York after a big argument, he called the head of Alitalia to stop her from getting on the plane, claiming he'd broken his arm. "I went to him and he said, ‘You see! When you leave me, that's the end of everything!' Then in the middle of dinner, I saw him take away the bandage! We both started laughing and had a fantastic night."

There are many more "mamma mia!" moments in Ron Howard's new documentary, Pavarotti. The film captures his larger-than-life personality through rare footage, family interviews and words from the man known as the People's Tenor, who grew large from his beloved pasta yet never seemed to grow old. "One of the greatest advantages of being an artist [is] to be able to always be a child," the star once revealed. But he also never outgrew a fear of not being able to hit the miraculous high notes that led him to be dubbed King of the High C's. "It created a lot of anxiety," Ron told Closer at the film's New York City screening on May 28. "Before performances, he'd say, ‘I go to die.'"