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Ron Howard tackles opera world in Pavarotti documentary / San Francisco Chronicle Q&A

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Director Ron Howard says he learned a lot in making the documentary "Pavarotti," about the international opera superstar who died in 2007. You don't have to be an opera aficionado to oversee an insightful documentary about the life and career of one of the greatest tenors of the 20th century. In fact, it might not even help. What matters more is the ability to approach this terrain with the lively and curious eye of a born explorer. Those are the gifts that director Ron Howard brings to "Pavarotti," his cinematic portrait of Luciano Pavarotti, the superstar tenor who died in 2007.

The documentary, which opens in theaters Friday, June 7, reunites Howard with writer Mark Monroe and a production team headed by Nigel Sinclair - the same partnership behind the 2016 film "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week." With a wealth of performance clips and interviews with family members, friends and such musical colleagues as Plácido Domingo and Bono, the film explores Pavarotti's life story and his rise to international fame. In a recent telephone interview with The Chronicle, Howard talked about opera, Pavarotti's earthy simplicity and the differences between documentaries and scripted cinematic fiction.
Photo: Molly Matalon, New York Times

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