The film, commissioned by the BBC, follows Pavarotti through a momentous period of his life - as he says goodbye to some of the World's great opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera House, New York and the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. This touching and sensitive film celebrates Maestro Pavarotti's life, from his humble beginnings in War torn Italy to his operatic debut and rise to international stardom. The film also includes scenes from Pavarotti's star-studded wedding to Nicoletta Mantovani as well as many interviews with his friends and family members and celebrities from accross the entertainment world.
This studio recording was made in 1989 coinciding with a memorable production from the Metropolitan Opera, later captured on DVD. It's a delightful performance, and a wonderful highlight of Pavarotti's later career. Kathleen Battle's sparkling soprano is a brilliant accompaniment to Pavarotti's still-ringing tone.
"Pavarotti's voice was still beautiful and pliable, his phrasing exquisite. And he loved the role of Nemorino and always seemed happy with both its comedy and pathos–he steals every scene he's in, and no one minds…Kathleen Battle sings Adina with perfect, pearl-like tone, absolute fluency and commitment, and a trill to die for…Enzo Dara is an ideal Dulcamara, just the right combination of huckster and sentimentalist, with ease in every register and with fast music."
– Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
Gaetano Donizetti opera's La Favorita originally had a French libretto and the title La Favorite. One of Donizetti’s finest music dramas, it was written at his peak as an orchestrator. The Italian, and better-known version, evolved two years after the French premiere and has become the more-performed version, exemplified by this famous 1974 recording starring Luciano Pavarotti, Fiorenza Cossotto, Gabriel Bacquier and Nicolai Ghiaurov. Pavarotti's voice has been called "youthful and fresh" on this album. Pavarotti's frequent collaborator Richard Bonynge conducts the Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna.
When Luciano Pavarotti died in September, the world lost one of its finest voices. The 'King of the High Cs' was sought after by all the major opera houses in his early career. International superstardom came with his Three Tenors and Pavarotti and Friends concerts. His version of Nessun Dorma was used for the BBC's coverage of the 1990 FIFA World Cup. This portrait uses archive and the memories of his closest associates- including Jose Carreras, Dame Joan Sutherland and Juan Diego Florez.
There is only one studio recording available of Donizetti's La Favorita (Italian version, not the original French language La Favorite) This is a bravura role for Luciano Pavarotti who's voice is certainly at its best here singing the role of Fernando, repertoire that could have been written just for him. The high C's and C#'s are exquisite here. He truly seems to know what he is singing about for this recording and his performance comes accross as very believable because of it. Fiorenza Cossotto is especially moving in her role as the "the favorite," Leonora. I found it unfortunate that she was not in better voice for the first act of this recording. Very disturbing was the love duet with Pavarotti.