Legendary Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti
– 12 October 1935 to 6 September 2007 Modena –
is one of the most respected and revered classical artists in modern history.
Pavarotti performed Nessun Dorma during his last major performance, at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, in February 2006.
The Three Tenors, Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, have been credited with bringing classical music to the masses on an extraordinary level. In addition to performing with the group, Pavarotti shared the stage with several rock and pop stars.
During the Bosnia war Pavarotti joined forces with Bono to raise humanitarian aid.
He also worked with the late Princess Diana to raise money to remove and ban landmines worldwide. In 2005, Pavarotti was granted the freedom of the city of London, and received a Red Cross Award for Services to Humanity.
Pavarotti listened to his father’s recordings of Bjoerling, Tito Schipa and Giuseppe Di Stefano from an early age and at around nine began singing with his father in the local church choir. He studied music with childhood friend and soprano Mirella Freni.
While preparing to resume his 40-city farewell tour in July 2006, Pavarotti underwent emergency surgery at a New York hospital to remove a pancreatic tumor. He underwent more treatment in August 2007 at a hospital in his hometown of Modena, Italy. He was released two weeks before his death and attended to at home by cancer specialists.
Pavarotti died in Modena on September 6, 2007 at the age of 71. He is survived by four daughters – three with his first wife Adua and one with his second wife, Nicoletta Mantovani – and one granddaughter.