Pavarotti in Berlin (5): 165 (!!!) curtain calls at Deutsche Oper

Pavarotti performed many times in Berlin, but out of Berlin’s three opera houses Pavarotti only sang at the Deutsche Oper Berlin (German Opera Berlin).

One very special night at the opera must surely have been February 24, 1988. That night Pavarotti received 165 curtain calls (!!!!!) for his performance in the Donizetti opera L’elisir d’amore at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. This is still the world record for curtain calls. Pavarotti was applauded for 1 hr. 7 min.

However, the world record for the longest applause goes to another tenor. After a performance of the Verdi opera Otello at the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera) on June 30, 1991, Plácido Domingo received 101 curtain calls and the audience applauded for 1 hr. 20 min.

It looks like these two records sometimes gets mixed up, making someone, like this blogger, somewhat confused. See this source for clarifications (hopefully).

More importantly, both these two records still stand as world records according to Guinness World Records, as far as I know. Well, if someone has broken one of these records recently, we clearly would have heard about it!

Unfortunately, I haven’t found any videos online of this historic 1988 Berlin performance. However, what I’ve found is almost as good: Pavarotti as Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore from the Wiener Staatsoper in 1988! Wonder how long Pavarotti was applauded for this performance!

Remember to visit Berlin! While you are there you may consider some opera at one of Berlin’s three opera houses! 🙂






  1. This is just unbelievable. 165 curtain calls, lasting more than 1 hour. That must have been a truly outstanding performance. Applauding for more than an hour must be really exhausting. I think, the most curtain calls I have ever witnessed were about 15. But my “opera life” hasn’t been very long. Have you ever witnessed something remotely like this?

    1. No, I haven’t witnessed anything close to this! The closest I’ve come is a concert with the Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli in Stockholm on the 17th May 2011. We went crazy! She was called back and sang about six extra numbers! After she was finished there were at least 20 min applause and several callbacks! Fantastic concert! I sat on the first row and as she walked out for the last time I managed to shake her hand … and I said to her … Well, that I will tell you in a future Bartoli-Pavarotti blog post! 😉

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