This upcoming bio-pic about the renowned Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti seeks to answer the question: What was so special about Luciano Pavarotti? The obvious answer was his miraculous voice - he was one of the best opera singers ever to have lived. His warm, smooth, easy tenor sound was, when he was singing well, utter perfection. He stunned audiences around the world. Later in life, he could be credited as one of the early adopters of the "crossover artist" label, performing pieces outside of the general classical music/opera repertoire.
Though he expanded his repertoire outside of classical music, his best performances, and most beloved by audiences, were of famous opera arias. He is noted for his expressive capacity, how his warm, full sound is saturated with meaning, and how seamlessly the connectivity is between each note (we call that "legato"). As an example, listen to him sing a famous aria from Puccini's "La Boheme" here:
What I like about this film (directed by Ron Howard) is that it seeks to go beyond just the voice to talk about the man himself. It clearly touches upon his strengths and weaknesses, and most valuable of all, his genuine fear of performing. With interviews from artists ranging from Placido Domingo to Bono, it examines the life of an outstanding opera singer from a wide-range of perspectives.
I'm looking forward to seeing this film and sharing my thoughts with all of you. In the meantime, have a look at this trailer for the film to get a sense of this important person in music history.
And if you've never heard him sing, you get some GREAT examples in this trailer!