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RON HOWARD · UK/USA · 2019 · 115 mins · PG


At first glance, director Ron Howard does not seem the ideal candidate to make a documentary on Italy’s international operatic sensation, the man with the voice from God, Luciano Pavarotti.

Initial impressions, however, can be deceptive, and Howard turns out to be a natural choice to direct this warm, emotional and completely involving film about the celebrated tenor.

Pavarotti, who died in 2007 at age 71, was celebrated like no tenor since Enrico Caruso, accounting for more than 100 million albums sold.

There are 53 new interviews in total, including the singer’s first wife, three adult daughters, as well as his second wife. Also on camera are celebrated fellow musicians including Lang Lang, Zubin Mehta, Plácido Domingo and José Carreras, as well as Bono, one of the pop singers Pavarotti collaborated with late in his career. Howard has also rounded up a range of fascinating performance footage from earlier in Pavarotti’s career, some of which is quite startling. 

Not surprisingly, “Pavarotti” features numerous arias, and though Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma,” a personal favorite, is sung a lot, the most moving segment we hear is Cavaradossi’s wrenching final aria in the composer’s “Tosca,” sung when the tenor himself was coming to grips with his own mortality.  --Los Angeles Times

“Pavarotti's larger-than-life personality shines in almost every scene. The singer's optimism is contagious, and his schoolboy-like wonder is jubilant. There's a lot to smile at here.”  
--New York Times


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