This rare recording of Pavarotti giving a singing lesson will make you love him even more

21 September 2017, 12:39 | Updated: 4 June 2021, 09:49

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

A mesmerising TV recording of Pavarotti giving a masterclass on ‘E lucevan le stelle’, from Puccini’s Tosca.

Luciano Pavarotti was one of the greatest tenors of the 20th century, so it’s no surprise that he was inundated with requests to give masterclasses to young tenors. This particular recording shows Pavarotti giving a masterclass to the young tenor Kwang Chung in 1979, who sings ‘E lucevan le stelle’ from Tosca.

Pavarotti is patient and kind with his student. “It’s a very familiar aria for me,” he smiles. After letting him sing it once all the way through, he advises Kwang how to express the pain behind the aria, explaining that this is the moment when the tenor Mario Cavaradossi expresses his devotion to the singer Tosca, all while waiting in prison for his execution.

Pavarotti is encouraging, applauding his student along the way, and Kwang’s second performance is noticeably injected with a touch of the passion Pavarotti has always been loved for. “Bravo!” he cries out to the young tenor.

The lyrics for the aria are as follows:

E lucevan le stelle, e olezzava la terra stridea l'uscio dell'orto, e un passo sfiorava la rena. Entrava ella, fragrante, mi cadea fra le braccia. Oh! dolci baci, o languide carezze, mentr'io fremente le belle forme discogliea dai veli! Svani per sempre il sogno mio d'amore... L'ora e fuggita e muoio disperato! E non ho amato mai tanto la vita!

How the stars used to shine there, How sweet the earth smelled, The orchard gate would creak, And a footstep would lightly crease the sand. She'd come in, fragrant as a flower, And she'd fall into my arms. Oh! sweet kisses, oh! lingering caresses, Trembling, I'd slowly uncover her dazzling beauty. Now, my dream of love has vanished forever. My last hour has flown, and I die, hopeless! And never have I loved life more!

Watch Pavarotti sing the aria here: