The largest collection of Lucian Pavarotti Quotes on the Internet

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Luciano Pavarotti  1935 - 2007
He sings with the angels now and for us, the tears
Una Furtiva Lagrima


"I will bring them to their feet," he said.  And now he brings  us to our knees.

Don't miss the duet of Pavarotti and his father singing "Panis Angelicus" at Modena:

*Photo credits 

Forbes described him as "without a doubt the world's most marketable voice."  In 1996 he had an estimated total gross earnings of $25 million.








Luciano Pavarotti
October 12, 1935
Modena, Italy
September 2007



Pavarotti singing at opening ceremonies at Torino, 2006




"I have every intention of returning to singing."
Luciano Pavarotti, age 70, 2006, after surgery

20 July 1996, New Jersey's Giants Stadium (77,716 capacity) - A No-Fly Zone
Three Tenors Performance - All normal air traffic was diverted during the concert

Luciano Pavarotti

"In the beginning, I am an elementary school teacher.  And on 21 April, 1961, I became a tenor.  That is a very, very significant date for me."
Luciano Pavarotti

"No regrets, no regrets."
Luciano Pavarotti

"You can say that I barely read the score for the orchestera.
That, yes.  But the tools you buy for the tenor ... piano, no?  I read perfectly.
Luciano Pavarotti

"I don't classify myself--I let other do that.  If you sing all the roles put in front of you, you are a tenor [as compared to a lyrice tenor or a light lyric tenor].  Punto [period.]  If you are also an actor, or a good driver of your voice, if you have personality and a stage presence, personality in life, you become something more than a tenor, more than just a voice."
Luciano Pavarotti

"The critics are my best friend.  The critic is my drive.  It's the driver who tells me where I am wrong." 
Luciano Pavarotti

As the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, Pavarotti sings Bella Figlia dell 'Amore.

"I want to do about three or four new roles, but only ones that make sense for me.  An opera that is new for the theater, and therefore new for the audience--like the Fedora production at the Met--would be interesting for me to do.  Otherwise, to do an opera not new for the audience but new for me would put me at a disadvantage, and I don't like that."
Luciano Pavarotti

He compares the "business of top notes for a tenor" to a bullfight.  "You are not allowed one mistake... I suppose there is something undeniably exciting about a grown man singing full out those difficult, unnatural high Cs.  It creates a wild, almost animal excitement."
Luciano Pavarotti

"If music is central to a person's life, it can be something very special and life-affirming."
Luciano Pavarotti

"I want to bring people good music and make them happy.  Music, like sport, should be for everybody."
Luciano Pavarotti

"In La Fille du Regiment at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1972, he sang 9 effortless High C's, causing the audience to erupt in a frenzied ovation." -- BBC

"For me, music making is the most joyful activity possible, the most perfect expression of any emotion."
Luciano Pavarotti

"You don't need any brains to listen to music."
Luciano Pavarotti

"At the age of 4, I jump on the table.  I am a little tenor.  And I begin to sing, La Donna e Mobile."
Luciano Pavarotti

"I might just have introduced some people to this music!"
Luciano Pavarotti

"Above all, I am an opera singer.  This is how people will remember me."
Luciano Pavarotti

People have a right to criticize.  If they boo me because I sing bad, they will do it."
Luciano Pavarotti

"I am a very optimistic human being in one sense, yes, but I like the truth!"
Luciano Pavarotti

Herbert Breslin, Pavarotti's manager for over 30 years, resigned from this post in January 2003.  His memoirs are available in his new Book, THE KING & I.: The Uncensored Tale of Luciano Pavarotti's Rise to Fame by His Manager, Friend and Sometime Adversary Pavarotti's last major opera performance was in Puccini's Tosca at the Royal Opera House in London in January 2002.

*Photo Credits:  From, believed to be "fiar use," for educational purposes only. 


"I am a very superstitious person. ~Luciano Pavarotti

When he performs, Pavarotti wants nails strewn all over the stage, and won't tolerate the color purple.

Why the purple?  In former times, priests wore purple, and artists couldn't perform during the season of Lent. 

So, purple, to an Italian, to an artist, means no eating, no money, no work, no women.


In 1989, Ardis Krainik of the Lyric Opera of Chicago made a definitive move in banning Pavarotti for life from performing there.  Over an eight year period, Pavarotti had cancelled 26 out of 41 scheduled appearances.

See Pavarotti Showed Up! (He Sang Some, Too)  (New York Times - 3/8/2004) and Two years after canceling, Pavarotti returns for final appearances in staged opera at the Met  (San Francisco Chronicle - 3/7/2004)

His own career was launched by the cancellation of Giuseppe di Stefano in La Boheme in London's Covent Garden Royal Opera in 1963. It was there "Lucky Luciano" was discovered by Joan Sutherland.

  • Una maravilla de Reconditat Armonia
  • Vamos Luciano!  Eres fuerte y te recuperaras de tu enfermedad.  Ritorna vincitor!
  • Oooo.....Goodsebumps!
  • This man will always live in my eart.  Such an amazingly beautiful instrument.
  • Mio Dio!
  • Pavarottii!  Ecce il uomo.
  • The last "vincero" was god's own voice.
  • Ay, Dios mio!
  • Je veuz morire.
  • He was god to me.
  • Thank you, Pav!
  • Bravo!  Please get well soon!!
  • Simply amazing, one of the geniuses of our time, I'm really thankful to have grown up listening to him, such a gift to the ear, such a presence and undoubtfully THE voice. Bravissimo Luciano!

See Norman Lebrecht's article, "The Man Behind Pavarotti"

  • "In the dressing room before a concert he used to say, "I will bring them to their feet." And he did it, he knew how to do it, that was his secret."
  • "Luciano turns to me one day and says he wants me to go and see President Nixon. I say why? He wants me to tell the President it's unfair for opera singers to pay taxes. I say, why? He says because we have a short life. Well look at him, he's gonna be 70 years of age and he's still singing."
  • "There will never be another Pavarotti, [Breslin] believes, never again that combination of angelic face, voracious appetite and a voice to die for." (Norman Lebrecht)
  • Not since Caruso has a tenor commanded such universal adoration. Not since Croesus has a classical personality made such a fortune. "Hundreds of millions of dollars," groans his manager. "Low hundreds, high hundreds, no-one knows exactly."
  • "In the dressing room before a concert he used to say, 'I will bring them to their feet.' And he did it, he knew how to do it, that was his secret."

Pavvarotti takes an annual August vacation in Pesaro, a town on the Adriatic Sea, where he owns a spacious beach compound.

The PBS special Pavarotti Returns to Naples was meant to embody the quintessential image of Neapolitan song:  the fisherman on the water making beautiful music, solo.  In it, he sings O Sole Mio rowing alone in a small boat.

He was born in Modena, Italy renowned for its balsamic vinegar.  It is in Emilia Romagna, the region considered to be the gastronomic heart of Italy.  It includes the city of Parma, known for its cheese and proscuitto.  The regional style of cooking is hearty, heavy on the cheese, meat and cream sauces.

Since knee and ankle injuries prohibit sport, he now practices yoga.In the 70s for a while he painted. 

In 1996, he placed 28th on Forbes magazine's "Top 40" highest paid entertainers list.  He has made more than 90 records, 5 of them Grammy winners. 

For each show on each tour, each tenor makes more than $1 million.

Adio, Adio with Gruberova in Verdi's Rigoletto



  • When he was in his prime, his voice was the most thrilling in the history of recorded sound.
  • Luciano Pavarotti holds the Guinness World Record for most curtain calls, at 165.
  • Note the perfection with which he attacks that final run ... every note clear as a bell. 
  • And what do you think of Pavarotti's never-ending last note in Celeste Aida?
  • He captivates crowds with his ability to hit the high notes.
  • "Nobody argues that he makes beautiful music, and has a beautiful voice, and phrases the music he sings so gorgeously that your heart stops..." (Breslin, his former manager)
  • He was once considered the only tenor in the world to be able to sing the high F (F5) contained in Vincenzo Bellini's Puritani Score.
  • He was so successful selling insurance as a y oung man, he was offered a position managing a branch office.  Urging him to take the job, his boss said, "As a singer you will undoubtedly die of starvation, while in insurance you will have bread for life."  Pavarotti eventually abandoned selling insurance saying, "All that speaking from my sales talks was damaging my voice.  talking can be harder on the voice than singing."
  • His greatest fear has always been "some thing happening to the people that I love.  And there are a lot of people that I love."
  • When interviewed on TC by Pia Lindstrom (Ingrid Bergman's daughter] she made some reference to a critic's comment that Pavarotti's vocal chords were kissed by God.  He replied, "I think He kissed you all over."
  • He is known by those closest to him to have a strong work ethic, though critics often accuse him of "squandering his talent"
  • Pavarotti smokes Villigers, a Swiss cigar.  "These are my cigars--very simple.  Gentle and dry, they are perfect for me, because they are just the right length and not too heavy for my delicate throat."
  • In his NY apt., he has a painting by Modenese artist Venturelli of the Secchia River which flows through Modena, his hometown.  He commissioned this in 1986.
  • He is know for his wardrobe of bright printed shirts and scarves.
  • Other passions are soccer, horses, and tennis.
  • Forbes labeled the Pavarotti phenomenon "popera."  He is responsible for the mass popularization of opera.  They call him the O Sole Mio of opera.
  • The 1994 three Tenors' "Encore" was broadcast live to about 1.2 billion people, 1/5th of the world's population.

Tosca, Acto III, Parte II



"If children are not introduced to music at an early age, I believe something fundamental is actually being taken from them."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"Children should be given the chance to play instruments, to sing. "  ~Luciano Pavarotti 

"I initiated this competition because winning a competition changed my life, so I know how valuable this can be for new singers.  I find myself so patient with these kids.  I will do anything for a singer if I feel there is material to work with."  !Luciano Pavarotti

When he was 12, he went to see the great tenor Beniamino Gigli "vocalizing" in Modena.  Gigli was 57 years old at the time.  Says Pavarotti:  "And then I asked, 'How long did you have to study?' and he told me, 'My child, I just finished five minutes ago.'  He meant, clearly, if you intend to follow this profession, you will have to study always, until you don't sing any more.  But I think I will continue to study, even when I stop singing in public."

"I'm a workaholic now.  Since one of my best friends died a few years ago, I have become more professional.  he was a cousin of my wife's and he always told me to focus more on being professional.  He told me I would find an incredible pleasure, and he was right -- I have."  ~Luciano Pavarotti"I care a lot about the people in my life -- the ones who were my friends even before I started to sing, and have remained close all these years.  These are the friends in whom I have no doubt, whereas I might have doubts about the friends who have approached me since I've become a singer."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"One night in 1978 I was dreaming about color.  I woke up at four in the morning and painted until three in the afternoon, when the painting was finished.  This was really a rapture."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I know I am a privileged person.  I have realized even more than I ever even dreamed of."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

Rodolfo, the lovelorn Bohemian artist has become a favorite role for him, but he considers the character Nemorino in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore to be closer to his own personality -- a peasant-poet-dreamer. 

"I am a tenor buff. I hear myself. ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I am open to everything."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I enjoy these concerts: meeting and performing with singers from completely different genres, artists who live a completely different life from that of an opera singer."
Luciano Pavarotti


Recondita Armonia (1978) from Puccini's Tosca.

"Certainly if I hear myself in the performance of [Wednesday] night, I have to say, 'Why are you leaving?'  And the answer is because I should be lighter and be able to run on the stage.  And one day, in one year, if I am able to run on the stage, perhaps I don't retire.  Who knows?  Who knows?  Miracles can happen."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"Learning music by reading about it is like making love by mail."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I want to be famous everywhere."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"If your body is not in shape to sing [from the diaphragm] you will push but keep falling back on your throat to make the sound.  This will ruin your voice."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"For an Italian, being honored in America was a great privilege."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I received a beautiful welcome to the world of music.  I want to give something back to the younger generation."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"Teaching I think is the most difficult thing.  Teaching is more difficult than singing."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"Why?  Because you have to transfer a thought from your brain to the brain of the other person and the throat of the other person."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"Am I afraid of high notes?  Of course I am afraid.  What sane man is not?"  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"In opera, as with any performing art, to be in great demand and to command high fees you must be good of course, but you must also be famous.  The two are different things."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I remember quite well that 10,000 audience sang with us three on the spot, and ever since then, I always thought the Chinese audience are the greatest audience."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I made 12 duets. It was such a pleasure to know these people from the inside, not from the cover of an album.
"  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I travel a lot, of course. A lot of time in the hotel, a lot of time on the plane."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I want to reach as many people as possible with the message of music, of wonderful opera."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I was an elementary school teacher."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"The rivalry is with ourself. I try to be better than is possible. I fight against myself, not against the other." ~LucianoPavarotti

"The sound of the voice, and how you use the voice, the phrasing. The intonation, the musicality. That is why I did have success and my father didn't."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"The surprise person who come out for me was Kofi Annan. I cannot ask more than that."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"There is no prodigy in our profession. If you see all the great singer of the past, none of them are."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"There is too much respect of the three of us. People will drive to see us fight. But we cannot. We respect too much each other."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"These concerts raise much more funding than we could ever possibly hope to raise with pure classical musicians."

"Why should be elite, music? Excuse me. Music must be for everybody."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"With the piano, at the age of 18, I was already singing for $1, $2 a performance."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"You have to cancel when your voice is not right. When you have a flu, when the voice look like that, you cannot sing when you are like that."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"Compare music to drinks.  Some is like a strong brandy.  Some is like a fine wine.  The music you're playing sounds like Diet Coke."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"The Met of New York, I make so many things there. Milano opera house. There is Vienna, Paris, many opera houses around the world."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"People think I m disciplined.  It is not discipline. It is devotion.  There is a great difference."  ~ Luciano Pavarotti 

"I am not a musician. I don't go into the technicalities...If I have the music in mind and sing with my body, then it's fine."
~ Luciano Pavarotti


"Olive oil is so incredibly healthy -- as a digestive.  I love it and I use it despite the fact that it's the most caloric thing in the world."  ~ Luciano Pavarotti

"I am not a boiled potato -- I am a fried potato."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I'm not a great cook."  ~ Luciano Pavarotti

Pavarotti likes lambrusco for its lack of snob appeal.  "My wine," he says, is a very wild, unrefined sparkling wine, the only red that must go in the refrigerator.  It is a fragile wine, extremely sensitive to atmospheric changes, so it doesn't travel or age very well."  ~ Luciano Pavarotti

"There are two ways to get a good lambrusco.  You can make it at home, which I did for many years with my grandfather.  We bought the grapes, using some from here and some from there, and then I squeezed them with my feet.  But because it is so fragile, it is difficult to do it well."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

About 25 years ago he bought a vineyard in Modena, but sold it shortly thereafter.  "Wine muse be made by people who know how to make it.  Like the opera must be done by people who know how to sing."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I've been buying the same lambrusco from Correggio [a town between Reggio-Emilia and Modena] since 1965."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I have lost twice 85 pounds. Can you imagine? Twice. ~Luciano Pavarotti


"Despite the fact that I was born under the sign of Libra [balance], I am a person who calculates little and dreams a lot.  With the grandissimi advantages and the grandissimi disadvantages.  But, the advantages are 90% and the disadvantages, 10%.  So it's worth living as a dreamer."  ~ Luciano Pavarotti

"The best thing about winning that competition [Achille Peri international singing competition in 1961, at age 25] was proving to myself, more than anyone else, that I could perform an entire opera.  It was not until that performance on that day in 1961 that I realized that I would really be an opera singer."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I love Ballo [Un Ballo in Maschera -- The Masked Ball, a Verdi opera] for many reasons .... The tenor character Riccaredo is a good man who is deeply in love with his friend's wife.  I sympathize with him, not because I have ever been in love with a friend's wife, thank God, but because I know how pwerful love can be and how it can make a man do things that he knows are wrong."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"Everything is new. Every night is new. Our profession is very exciting for that reason."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"For me, music making is the most joyful activity possible, the most perfect expression of any emotion. ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I know one second before if is not going well. Absolutely. I feel it."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"I'm a perfectionist, and I always think that I can do better what I have done, even if it's good.
~Luciano Pavarotti

"I'm living in Modena, my city where I was born. ~Luciano Pavarotti

"If is an old piece, I go to hear a tenor, then were there before me, and immediately understand if I can do."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"If you are gifted from God, He give you the gift of the voice, and even the intelligence to drive it."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"If you see me once, you cannot confuse me with another."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"If you want to do something really bad to me, you invite at your home, and put one record of mine. And my digestion will be finished before begin."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"In our profession, the voice is really around 18, 20, and it can improve even more."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"In our profession, when a tenor is decent, everybody knows in the world."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"In the studio, you have two or three tracks, and then when you put together, it is not good enough, you will go over it and you try to do better."  ~Luciano Pavarotti


Interview with Pavarotti, for "Pavarotti Fever"
In San Franciso to perform Aida -
and check out that last note in Celeste Aida
Double treat - preceded by Carerras singing on Sesame St.


"It is a great honor for me to be able to take the music of the tenor to a great number of people.   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"It is a very honest world, our work. I think you cannot fake anything."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"It is so important for people at a young age to be invited to embrace classical music and opera."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"It's better to have a good acoustic, so you use all the color of your voice."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"Many theaters put the translation, simultaneous translation. And they understand everything."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"My father died last year, unfortunately, with a tenor voice, and he was singing beautifully until the last day of his life."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

My father is a tenor, and my mother is a very sensitive lady, very sensible. They gave me both their quality."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"Opera is a beautiful and important diversion for me." ~Luciano Pavarotti

"Opera is one of the most important art forms. It should be listened to and appreciated by everyone."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"People have a right to criticize."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"Sometime to be called Pavarotti is not always an advantage."   ~Luciano Pavarotti

"The applause are telling me that I did well. I have a kick, like you say."  ~Luciano Pavarotti


E Lucevan e Stelle from Puccini's Tosca

"The better voice doesn't mean being a better singer."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"The first night I was so scared of the conductor. I did not know if I were able to go with the orchestra, remember all the words, all the action."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"The music itself could never take the place of my own passion in life."  ~Luciano Pavarotti

"You can be disappointed by a friend, a woman, a political party, an organization.  I have had all of these.  But they have been few, and I have had so many other big things that I am a privileged person." ~ Luciano Pavarotti


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