Luciano Pavarotti is one of the most iconic opera singers of all time. He was born in Moden on October 12, 1935. He began his career as a professional opera singer in 1955 after spending several years undergoing vocal training.
At the beginning of his career, Pavarotti sang as a tenor in small, regional Italian opera houses. His debut performance was as Rodolfo in La Boheme which was performed at the Teatro Municipale in Reggio Emilia. In terms of his international career, he appeared first in La Traviata in Belgrade Yugoslavia.
In February 1965, Pavarotti made his debut in the United States when he performed in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Despite his many international performances, it was only in 1990 that he became popular outside opera houses and in popular culture. His performance of ‘Nessun Dorma’ from ‘Turandot’ was selected as the theme tune for the BBC’s coverage of the 1990 FIFA World Cup which was hosted in Italy.
His version of ‘Nessun Dorma’ became his trademark song as it launched him into pop status and increased his popularity. It also led to him performing at the ‘Three Tenors’ concert alongside José Carreras and Plácido Domingo. The conductor was Zubin Mehta. When the album of the concert was released, it became the biggest selling classical record of all-time. This cemented Pavarotti’s position as one of the most popular classical opera singers of the current day.
You can watch Luciano Pavarotti performing the 1990 World Cup theme tune ‘Nessun Dorma’ here: