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1 June 2021, 12:13 | Updated: 2 June 2021, 14:23
Even in the early days of his singing career, Luciano Pavarotti’s vocal offerings were utterly effortless.
An instantly recognisable, honeyed voice with an unmatched ‘ping’ as he hits those dizzying heights – beloved Italian opera singer Luciano Pavarotti is still recognised as one of history’s greatest tenors.
And here’s a look back to one of his earliest performances, in 1964 in Moscow, Russia, when he was just 28 years old (watch below).
The clip, a performance of the Verdi aria ‘La donna è mobile’, was unearthed and posted by the official Luciano Pavarotti Facebook page, with the caption: “Pavarotti’s skill as one of the greatest tenors of all time can be seen right from the beginning of his career!”
His voice is crisp and deliciously box-fresh. Have a listen...
The early years of Pavarotti’s career were spent in Italian opera houses. In 1961, he had made his debut in Puccini’s La bohème at the Teatro Municipale in Reggio Emilia.
Two years later, in 1963, he made two important debuts at the Vienna State Opera in Verdi’s La Traviata, and at London’s Royal Opera House. But while his early roles were successful, they didn’t immediately turn him into the operatic celebrity he would later become.
Pavarotti first found real success a year after this video was filmed, in 1965, when he began performing with Australian dramatic coloratura soprano Joan Sutherland. Months later, he made his debut at La Scala, Milan.
In 1966, he appeared in Donizetti’s La fille du régiment at the Royal Opera House and earned his title ‘King of the High Cs’ with a gloriously bright rendition of the fiendish aria ‘Ah! Mes Amis’.
Pavarotti gave his final ever performance at the 2006 Winter Olympics opening ceremony, with his signature aria ‘Nessun dorma’. The international crowd gave him the longest and loudest standing ovation of the night.
The great tenor died the following year – but the Pavarotti voice remains a sound unmatched.