Pavarotti: A Voice for the Ages celebrates the launch of Luciano Pavarotti’s career 50 years ago. Hear the late, great tenor in some of his finest performances, singing “Nessun Dorma” and other beloved arias from La Boheme, Rigoletto and Aida; Neapolitan songs in arrangements by Henry Mancini including “Mamma” and “La mia canzone al vento,” and audience favorites “O Sole Mio” and “Torna a surriento”; as well as popular duets with Bono, Sting, and Eric Clapton, and with The Three Tenors. Pavarotti: A Voice for the Ages airs on Great Performances in late November and December (check local listings).
Preview Pavarotti: A Voice for the Ages
Like Enrico Caruso before him, Luciano Pavarotti extended his presence far beyond the limits of Italian opera. Quickly establishing his trademark rich sound as the great male operatic voice of the 20th century, he expanded his reach to stadium concerts and pop collaborations which brought him fame beyond measure.
The one-hour program will include a segment from an historic recording of Rodolfo’s aria from La Bohème, “Che gelida manina” (”Your tiny hand is frozen”), that had been lying dormant in the archives for 50 years, only now to be unearthed by Pavarotti’s widow, Nicoletta Mantovani. This significant track will also appear on Pavarotti: The 50 Greatest Tracks, released by Decca in the U.S. on October 22, 2013, celebrating his 50 years recording for the label.
Half a million people flocked to hear the maestro in Central Park and millions worldwide watched on television. Audiences adored his larger than life personality, childlike charm, generous figure, and happy-go-lucky style. To his adoring fans, the tenor became a titan of popular culture. In 1963, he launched an international career when he debuted in Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich and finally in London substituting for the ailing Giuseppe di Stefano as Rodolfo in La Boheme at Covent Garden. Even today, it is his powerful sound with its natural grace and brilliant color which still leads many to consider him the world’s greatest voice. It is Pavarotti who brought opera to the masses and made football fans worldwide fall in love with “Nessun Dorma.”