Today is the anniversary of Pavarotti’s debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. On November 23, 1968, Pavarotti made his Met debut in a matinee performance of Puccini’s opera La Bohème.
Pavarotti of course sang the role of Rodolfo, and his childhood friend from Modena, the soprano Mirella Freni, sang the role of Mimì.
The performance went very well for the young Pavarotti and he got fairly good reviews for his performance. Sadly, no recording of Pavarotti’s promising debut at the Met exists as far as I know.
Pavarotti sang the role of Rodolfo at the Met several times during his career. The performance on March 15, 1977 was quite special as it was the first ever live TV transmission, or telecast, from the Met. The recording of this telecast is now available on Deutsche Grammophon DVD.
Listen and watch as Pavarotti sings Che gelida manina from this historic performance.
Pavarotti started and ended his Met career with Puccini. On March 13, 2004, Pavarotti sang Cavaradossi in Puccini’s opera Tosca. This performance was Pavarotti’s last performance at the Metropolitan Opera.
For more than 35 years Pavarotti had a very strong and succesful relationship with the Metropolitan Opera. Pavarotti sang in 378 performances at the Met. No other singer has sung that many performances at the Metropolitan Opera.
Luciano Pavarotti, a baker’s son from a little town in northern Italy, became one of the greatest singers who has ever graced the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.
Pavarotti died in his hometown Modena on September 6, 2007.
This post was first published 23-11-2014. Last revision 23-11-2014.