Born on this day in Modena, Italy, maestro tenor Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007) captivated audiences with his pure, beautiful voice for over 45 years.
"I want to be famous everywhere," said Pavarotti who made his operatic debut in 1961, winning the internationally coveted Achille Peri Prize. He made his U.S. debut in Miami in 1965.
Called the "King of the High C's" for his incredible range, he was once considered the only tenor in the world to be able to sing the high F (F5) contained in Bellini's Puritani Score.
His voice celebrated fueled-from-within power, with robust magic that was immediately recognizable. "People think I am disciplined. It is not discipline. It is devotion. There is a great difference," he said of his love for music.
In 1993, he drew 500,000 to his New York Central Park concert. In 1997, the great tenor admitted he could not read music. "I am not a musician. I don't go into the technicalities...If I have the music in mind and sing with my body, then it's fine."
A lover of pasta, fast cars, and oil paintings, the charismatic artist was beloved throughout the world. Named a "United Nations Messenger of Peace," Pavarotti worked tirelessly to raise money for the organization. On the eve of his 70th birthday in 2005, he was honored by the City of London and Red Cross for his lifelong Services to Humanity.
"My work is everything to me," he confessed. "I try to overcome my limitations and to be the best I can. Opera is my only goal. In my life I donít consider myself to be perfect; I think I could do better. But on stage, I do everything possible to be the best."
Go for the high notes.