Stories » 5 life lessons 'Pavarotti' taught us in the new Ron Howard documentary / USA TODAY

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5 life lessons 'Pavarotti' taught us in the new Ron Howard documentary / USA TODAY

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Ron Howard's documentary "Pavarotti" serves as a vivid reminder of just how huge a role the great tenor Luciano Pavarotti played for a generation – magically breaking out of the classical music realm to become a music superstar. But the passionate way the infectiously beaming, Hawaiian shirt-loving opera star lived his life is the most enchanting element of "Pavarotti" (opens Friday in select cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago; expands throughout summer).

The documentary about the singer, who died at 71 in 2007, does address his many shortcomings, including his extramarital affairs, which turned into tabloid fodder. But the portrait Howard paints – based on more than 50 interviews and enhanced with intimate home videos – is of an ebullient force who brought joy to the world and those closest to him. "For better, sometimes worse, Pavarotti just lived so fully," says Howard. "He gave that kind of energy to his art, his work, and he gave that energy to his life. And that's to be respected."

Here are the life lessons we took from "Pavarotti":