Pavarotti around the world

Happy Australia Day with Pavarotti!

Today is Australia Day, the official National Day of Australia, which is celebrated annually on 26 January in Australia and by Australians living abroad.

Pavarotti performed in Australia many times during his career, but there is another important Australian connection for Pavarotti. The Australian soprano Dame Joan Sutherland was together with her conductor husband Richard Bonynge instrumental for Pavarotti’s career on stage and on record, especially in the early stages of his career. Pavarotti and Sutherland made many landmark recordings on Decca together, as well as performing in operas and concerts together.

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In the following video Pavarotti and Sutherland sing the duet “Prendi: l’anel ti dono” from the Bellini opera La Sonnambula from a concert in 1983 in Sydney, Australia with Bonynge conducting. This concert is available on CD and DVD.

The Three Tenors performed in Australia once. On 1 March 1997 The Three Tenors performed at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne as part of their World Tour together with conductor Marco Armiliato. At this concert The Three Tenors surprised their audience by singing the popular Australian song “Waltzing Matilda“, by many described as the country’s “unofficial national anthem”.

Pavarotti held solo concerts in Australia as well. More on that in another post. Let’s end these Australia Day celebrations with a clip of Pavarotti singing “Nessun dorma!” from The Three Tenors concert mentioned above. Clearly Pavarotti conquered Australia too! 🙂

Happy Australia Day everybody, especially my Australian followers! 🙂

This blog post no. 303 was first published 26-01-2016. Last revision 26-01-2016.

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Pavarotti sings you to Granada and your next holiday in Spain

Planning a holiday in Spain? How about a trip to the beautiful Spanish city of Granada? And why not let the great Pavarotti take you there?

One song that Pavarotti included in his concert repertoire late in his career was the song “Granada” by the Mexican composer Agustín Lara. And you are quite right! This song is really about the Spanish city of Granada!

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In the following two videos Pavarotti sings this beautiful song from live performances in Llangollen, Wales in 1995 and in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1997.

Pavarotti of course performed in Spain many times, but more about that in later posts. Now it’s time to book your next summer holiday to Spain! 🙂

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This blog post no. 302 was first published 25-01-2016. Last revision 25-01-2016.

Pavarotti arias A-Z: P for “Parmi veder le lagrime”

My series of posts with Pavarotti arias A-Z continues. Let’s go!

Today is the letter P for “Parmi veder le lagrime” which is a wonderful aria from the Verdi opera Rigoletto.

Listen to the version taken from the very first Decca recording Pavarotti made, the 1964 five track EP.

Guess what! Look out for a new aria tomorrow!

This post was first published 05-05-2015. Last revised 05-05-2015.

Christmas with Pavarotti: The East German “O holy night” album

During the Cold War Pavarotti’s recordings were rarely published in the Communist Bloc countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and he rarely held concerts behind the Iron Curtain during that period.

One of the very few exceptions took place in East Germany, or the German Democratic Republic (GDR), which was its official name, or Die Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR). as it was known in German.

In 1982, the East German state classical record label Eterna, based in East Berlin, published Pavarotti’s Christmas album “O holy night” under the title Ave Maria” on LP and Music Cassette.

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The album contained 9 tracks, which was the same tracks as the original UK Decca LP release. The US London LP version contained two more tracks, but these two tracks later appeared on later editions of the album in UK and around the world.

The Ave Maria Eterna LP can easily be found in second-hand stores in Germany and elsewhere. What a treasure to have in your Pavarotti collection!

Imagine the divided city of Berlin in 1982: Pavarotti’s Christmas album was published in East Berlin, and in West Berlin Pavarotti sang in the Verdi opera Aida at Deutsche Oper. Read about Pavarotti in that West Berlin Aida here and here.

Imagine also this: In 1989 the Berlin Wall was open and would later be teared down. The divided city was no longer divided and soon Berlin would become the capital of a united Germany.

I wish you all a joyful and peaceful Christmas!

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This post was first published 21-12-2014. Last revision 21-12-2014.

Pavarotti Mexican compilation CD

When you think you’ve seen all the Pavarotti albums there are in the world, new ones pops up, in a record store somewhere or somewhere online.

My latest find is “La Voz De Luciano Pavarotti”, a compilation CD from Mexico. This CD, which translates “The voice of …”, is a compilation of Pavarotti singing Italian popular songs. The CD was issued on Decca by Universal Music Mexico in 2014.

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This CD can be bought online at Almaraz records, or the next time you or somebody you know goes to Mexico.

We celebrate this with a funny Mexican tribute to Pavarotti. Pavarotti sings Cielito Lindo together with Enrique Iglesias from a Pavarotti & Friends concert (not included on this Mexican CD).

More about Pavarotti in Mexico in later posts!

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This post was first published 18-11-2014. Last revision 18-11-2014.

Pavarotti in Puccini in Chicago

Pavarotti sang in Chicago many times during his career. Here are some samples from a gala in Chicago in 1975 (audio only), both taken from the Puccini opera La Boheme. At this gala Pavarotti sang together with Mirella Freni.

First Pavarotti sings the aria Che gelida manina followed by Freni who sings the aria Mi chiamano Mimi. Pavarotti and Freni then join forces in the duet O soave fanciulla.

Needless to say, both singers are at the top of their career. Riccardo Chailly conducts the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra.

When performing in Chicago Pavarotti mostly sang in opera performances at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. More about that and all the rest of Pavarotti in Chicago in later posts.

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This post was first published 05-09-2014. Last revision 06-09-2014.

Pavarotti in Berlin (11): Pavarotti’s debut with the Berlin Philharmonic (but not in Berlin as one might think!)

How time flies! Just the other day it was 40 years since the great Pavarotti made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic. On the 24th of June 1974 Pavarotti joined the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by the great Herbert von Karajan in Verdi’s Requiem.

However, this performance didn’t take place in Berlin as one might think, but in the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria.

It looks like Pavarotti didn’t sing with the Berlin Philharmonic in Berlin at all, at least not with Karajan, according to this source.

I haven’t found any evidence that Pavarotti sang with the Berlin Philharmonic in the post-Karajan period either, but I may have overlooked something.

Pavarotti did however also sing with the Berlin Philharmonic in the Großes Festspielhaus in Salzburg, Austria, and at the Carnegie Hall in New York, USA, all with Karajan conducting.

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So lets look at the facts for the performance on that historic day 40 years ago:

Herbert von Karajan (conductor), Berliner Philharmoniker (orchestra), Wiener Singverein (choir)

Mirella Freni (soprano), Christa Ludwig (mezzo-soprano), Luciano Pavarotti (tenor), José van Dam (bass-baritone)

Musikverein, Vienna, Austria (venue), 24th of June 1974 (date)

It must be added that the Italian soprano Mirella Freni also made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in this performance.

What a historic performance it turned out to be! And before you start to ask: No recording of this performance excist as far as I know!

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This post was first published 01-07-2014. Last revision 01-07-2014.