Luciano Pavarotti Biography

Luciano Pavarotti, popularly known as ‘the King of the High Cs’, was a renowned operatic tenor who captivated audiences worldwide with his rare voice range. Recognized as one of the greatest baritone singers of the twentieth century, Pavarotti’s beautiful and brilliant tone, combined with his pitch accuracy and natural vocal range, led to immense commercial success. Not only did he elevate the popularity of opera globally, but he also dedicated his time to humanitarian efforts, working tirelessly for the betterment of refugees. Pavarotti’s philanthropic endeavors included organizing the famous annual charity concert, ‘Pavarotti & Friends’, which raised millions of dollars for the causes he supported. Additionally, he ventured into classical crossovers and pop recordings, collaborating with notable artists such as the Irish rock band, ‘U2’.

Quick Facts

  • Italian Celebrities Born In October
  • Also Known As: Luciano Pavarotti Cavaliere di Gran Croce
  • Died At Age: 71
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Adua Veroni (m. 1961–2000), Nicoletta Mantovani (m. 2003–2007)
    • Father: Fernando Pavarotti
    • Mother: Adele Venturi
    • Children: Alice Pavarotti, Cristina Pavarotti, Giuliana Pavarotti, Lorenza Pavarotti, Riccardo Pavarotti
  • Born Country: Italy
  • Quotes By Luciano Pavarotti
  • Opera Singers
  • Died on: September 6, 2007
  • Place of death: Modena, Italy
  • Cause of Death: Pancreatic Cancer
  • City: Modena, Italy

Childhood & Early Life

Luciano Pavarotti’s father, Fernando Pavarotti was an amateur tenor but failed to make it big. Young Pavarotti developed an interest in music after he listened to his father’s recordings, which featured popular tenors like Bjoerling, Tito Schipa, and his favorite, Giuseppe Di Stefano.

He faced poverty in his childhood and lived in a rented single-room apartment with his parents. He started singing with the local church choir at the age of nine and spent seven years training his vocals to become a successful tenor.


In 1954, Luciano studied music with Arrigo Pola, a professional tenor in Modena. In 1955, he participated in the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales, as a member of the Corale Rossini voice choir, where they won the first prize.

In 1961, he made his operatic debut as Rodolfo, in La Boheme at the Teatro Reggio Emilia. He made his international debut in 1963 as ‘Rodolfo’, for tenor Giuseppe Di Stefano at the Royal Opera House in London.

In 1965, he made his American debut in the Miami Production, ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’. The same year he formed a partnership with Australian soprano Joan Sutherland.

He performed “La Fille du Régiment” at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1972. In 1977, he delivered his first live performance on television. This attracted a large television audience.

Pavarotti got more international fame in 1990 when the BBC made “Nessun Dorma,” the theme song of their TV coverage of the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

He gave a free performance in 1993, at the Great Lawn of New York’s Central Park. The concert attracted over one million people apart from the millions of viewers who watched the event on television from around the world.

In 1998, he became the first opera singer to perform on ‘Saturday Night Live’, performing alongside Vanessa L. Williams. In 2003, he released ‘Ti Adoro’, his first and only ‘crossover’ album. It was produced by Michele Centonze.

In 2006, he delivered his last major performance on ‘Nessun Dorma’, at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Italy.

Major Works

In 1990, he released the album, ‘The Essential Pavarotti’. It was the first ever classical album to reach the number one position in the UK Top Charts and remained there for an unprecedented five-week period.

He established the world-famous annual charity concert, ‘Pavarotti & Friends’, which brought together artists from different parts of the music industry, including Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, Elton John, and Spice Girls. These charity concerts have raised millions of dollars over the years, which he donated towards humanitarian efforts.

Awards & Achievements

In 1998, he was honored with the Grammy Legend Award.

He holds two ‘Records’, one for receiving the most curtain calls and another for the best-selling classical album, ‘The Three Tenors.’

In 1998, he was appointed as the United Nations Messenger of Peace.

In 2001, he was awarded the Nansen Medal from the UN High Commission for Refugees.

In 2006, he was conferred honorary citizenship by the city of Sarajevo.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Adua Veroni in 1961 and they had three children. In 2003, he married his former personal assistant Nicoletta Mantovani. They had a child together.

He passed away due to a pancreatic tumor. He is survived by four daughters and his ex-wife Adua.


This popular tenor earned the title, ‘The King of Cancellations’ for frequently backing out of performances.

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