Opera doesn’t have to feel inaccesible.

luciano pavarotti

Pavarotti at Madison Square Garden. Photo Credit: Don Perdue/WNET

Great Performances on PBS is celebrating Luciano Pavarotti’s career this December.

Like Enrico Caruso before him, Luciano Pavarotti extended his presence far beyond the limits of Italian opera. Quickly establishing his trademark rich sound as the great male operatic voice of the 20th century, he expanded his reach to stadium concerts and pop collaborations which brought him fame beyond measure. The 50th anniversary of the launch of Pavarotti’s of meteoric international career is celebrated in Pavarotti: A Voice for the Ages, airing in December on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances (check local listings). In New York, THIRTEEN will air the special Saturday, November 30 at 6:30 p.m.

This one-hour program includes “Nessun Dorma” and other beloved arias from La Boheme, Rigoletto and Aida; Neapolitan songs in arrangements by Henry Mancini including “Mamma” and “La mia canzone al vento,” and audience favorites “O Sole Mio” and “Torna a surriento”; as well as popular duets with Bono, Sting, and Eric Clapton.

luciano pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti Illustration

The program will include a segment from an historic recording of Rodolfo’s aria from La Bohème, ‘Che gelida manina’ (‘Your tiny hand is frozen’), that had been lying dormant in the archives for 50 years, only now to be unearthed by Pavarotti’s widow, Nicoletta Mantovani. This significant track will also appear on Pavarotti: The 50 Greatest Tracks, released by Decca in the U.S. on October 22 celebrating his 50 years recording for the label. Already released in the U.K., the career-spanning collection has catapulted the world’s most beloved tenor back to the top of the charts in England six years after his passing.

 Press Release

Songs on Luciano Paravotti: A Voice for the Ages (Song Listing)

“Che gelida manina” (La Boheme first recording, 1965 Modena performance and first “Live From the Met” broadcast)

“La donna e mobile” Rigoletto film

“Celeste Aida” (Aida) (performed in concert at the Metropolitan Opera)

“Mamma” (Madison Square Garden – 1984)

“Donna non vidi mai” (Manon Lescaut) (Hyde Park)

“Nessun Dorma” (Turandot) (Central Park)

“Miss Sarajevo” (with Bono/Pavarotti & Friends)

“Holy Mother” (with Eric Clapton/Pavarotti & Friends)

“A Vucchella” (Barcelona recital)

“O Sole Mio” (Three Tenors in Rome)

“Non ti scordar di me”

“La mia canzone al vento”

“Panis Angelicus” (Sting)

“Torna a surriento” (Three Tenors/Naples)

“la Danza”