How Puccini’s Madam Butterfly catapulted Pavarotti to stardom

May 25, 2021 550

Pavarotti had sung in the UK before, though not as an operatic soloist. Eight years previously, aged just 19, he had travelled to Wales with the Corale Rossini, a male voice choir from his hometown of Modena, to compete at the Eisteddfod in Llangollen. The choir won first prize in its category, and their success fired Luciano with a desire to launch his own career in music.

Eight years of patient training in his native Italy followed, with Pavarotti working as a teacher and insurance salesman to pay the bills. Then bookings started coming – Puccini’s La bohème in Reggio Emilia, Verdi’s La traviata in Belgrade, a Vienna State Opera debut – and the stage was set for Pavarotti to begin looking beyond continental Europe for further opportunities and experiences. 

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