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Luciano Pavarotti

Tenor Titan from Modena

Pavarotti in St Petersburg

He'll be remembered as he wanted to be: as the second Caruso. He achieved both musical respect and mass impact of a kind that had not been equalled since the great Enrico. The voice was unique in timbre and power, the presence was unmistakable and he had a hint of mischief that appealed to all sexes and ages. Norman Lebrecht

Along with Ferraris, Modena owes its much of its international renown to one of the great tenors of the 20th century, Luciano Pavarotti. Born in 1935, the son of a baker and a cigar maker, he grew up listening to his father's records and watching Mario Lanza films at the cinema. Pavarotti senior was a fine amateur tenor and Luciano went along with him to sing in the church and eventually in the local male choir, the Corale Rossini.

His first career choice was to become a professional football player. His mother encouraged him instead to train as a teacher. But in 1955, the choir won first prize at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales, the event, Pavarotti always said that changed his life and decided him on a singing career.

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Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by Russavia, Creative Commons License