The Best of Opera Music: Pavarotti

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Find out which Pavarotti songs are the best of the best, and why his voice was so special.

Luciano Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti was an Italian operatic tenor who also crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most commercially successful tenors of all time. He was one of the Three Tenors and became well known for his televised concerts and media appearances.

Born in Modena, Italy, Pavarotti began studying to be a professional singer at age 19. He made his opera debut in 1961 and went on to perform in some of the most prestigious opera houses around the world, including La Scala in Milan and The Metropolitan Opera in New York City. In 1976, he made a highly acclaimed recording of Giacomo Puccini’s “Turandot” which brought him mainstream success.

Pavarotti’s career expanded beyond the opera world in the 1980s as he gave concert performances and recorded popular music albums. He also starred in a number of films and made numerous television appearances. In 2002, he performed at New York’s Madison Square Garden to mark the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics, an event which was watched by millions around the world.

Pavarotti died in September 2007 at the age of 71 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. His funeral was held at Modena Cathedral and was attended by dignitaries from around the world, including U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

His Best Performances

Although he is commonly known for his large repertoire of Italian opera music, Luciano Pavarotti was also an accomplished performer of German, French, and English opera. He sang over 600 performances of more than 70 different operas during his lifetime. Among his most popular recordings are “Nessun dorma,” “La donna è mobile,” and “Funiculi funicula.”

In addition to opera, Pavarotti enjoyed singing popular music and Neapolitan songs. He collaborated with popular artists such as Sting, Bono, James Brown, and The Pogues. He also starred in a film adaptation of Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Turandot” and in the movie “Yes, Giorgio.”

His Best Arias

Here are some of the best arias performed by the one and only Luciano Pavarotti.

“Nessun dorma” from Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot
“E lucevan le stelle” from Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca
“La donna è mobile” from Giacomo Verdi’s Rigoletto
“Una furtiva lagrima” from Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore

His Best Duets

With more than 600 million YouTube views, it’s no wonder that Luciano Pavarotti’s signature duet with fellow tenor Andrea Bocelli, “The Prayer,” from the film Quest for Camelot, is one of the most popular opera performances of all time. The beloved Italian tenor passed away in 2007, but his musical legacy continues to live on through his many recordings, including some of the best opera duets ever recorded.

While Pavarotti is best known for his solo work, he also frequently performed with other opera singers, including Placido Domingo and Joan Sutherland. If you’re looking for some of the best opera music featuring Pavarotti, check out these five incredible duets.

1. “The Prayer” – Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti
2. “Nessun Dorma” – Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo
3. “Vesti la giubba” – Luciano Pavarotti and Frank Sinatra
4. “La donna è mobile” – Luciano Pavarotti and Sting
5. “Amazing Grace” – Bryn Terfel and Luciano Pavarotti

His Best Recordings

Luciano Pavarotti is one of the most famous opera singers of all time. His voice was truly unique, and his performances were legendary. He recorded many albums throughout his career, and below are some of his best.

• “E lucevan le stelle” from Tosca (1953)

• “Nessun dorma” from Turandot (1958)

• “La donna è mobile” from Rigoletto (1962)

• “Che gelida manina” from La Bohème (1964)

• “Vesti la giubba” from I Pagliacci (1965)

• “Fin ch’han dal vino” from Don Giovanni (1966)

His Legacy

Luciano Pavarotti was an Italian opera singer who achieved fame with his larger-than-life personality and powerful voice. He is considered one of the greatest opera singers of all time, and his influence is still felt today. After a successful career in Italy, he went on to conquer the world stage, winning over audiences with his electrifying performances. He was also known for his humanitarian work, using his fame to raise awareness and funds for various charities. Pavarotti died in 2007 at the age of 71, but his legacy continues to live on through his music.

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