Italian opera star Luciano Pavarotti gestures during part of his round-the-world farewell tour concerts in Shanghai. Picture: Reuters

Pavarotti, the tribute documentary film is underway.

South African’s can look forward to experiencing the true splendour of Pavarotti’s career in cinemas nationwide from September 27 

“I want to reach as many people as possible with the message of music, of wonderful opera,” said Pavarotti. 

His wish evident, when looking back on a career stretching over 40 years, with more than a 100 Million albums sold.  

Discotheque website, Discogs.com, reports that Pavarotti released 296 albums, 46 singles and EP’s and featured on 362 compilation albums. These facts together with a look at the life, career and lasting legacy of the musical icon, dubbed "The people's tenor," are all appreciated in this documentary.  

“For me, music making is the most joyful activity possible, the most perfect expression of any emotion,” said Pavarotti, years after he abandoned his own childhood dreams of being a football goalkeeper. Growing up in a family of little means, his father’s fine tenor voice recordings, were his first and earliest musical influences. 

Born in 1935 in Northern Italy, Pavarotti embarked on music studies in 1954, at the age of 19. The year after, his success story started to take shape, when, alongside his father, he joined the male choir, Corale Rossini, winning first place when they competed in that year’s International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales.  

Pavarotti slowly built a world acclaimed resume, with his debut operatic role as Rodolfo in the Teatro Reggio Emila’s production of La Boheme in 1961, followed by his American debut in the Miami production of Lucia di Lammermoor, in 1965. 

That year he formed one of his shaping partnerships with Joan Sutherland, an Australian Soprano. It was however only in 1972, during a production of La Fille du Regiment at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, when his major breakthrough came, with the delivery of nine effortless high C’s in the famous area, leading up to a record seventeen curtain calls, and the Title of the ‘King of the High C’s’.  Even Pavarotti admitted: “Am I afraid of high notes? Of course I am afraid. What sane man is not?”

Contributing to this success, Pavarotti joined Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo, as part of the infamous The Three Tenors, who sold more than a million copies of the 1991 Best Classical Vocal Performance Grammy Award winning: The Three Tenors in Concert. 

Pavarotti’s record label since 1967, Polygram’s Decca Records, extended his contract in 1994, after already having sold more than 50 million albums. This partnership ensured more collaborations were within Pavarotti’s vision, with the ultimate cause, being more than just music.  

Pavarotti’s successful and most influential career, saw his final appearance during the 2006 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Turin, Italy, when he once again performed his trademark area, Nessun Dorma, which recorded the longest and loudest ovation from an international crowed.  

The man known for have changing the world while changing the world of music, died in 2007 of Kidney failure after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. 

At the time of his death, Pavarotti was the best-selling classical artist in history, as the Guinness World Record holder for receiving the most curtain calls of 165. Posthumously, he received the Italy-USA Foundation’s America award in 2013 as well as the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music in 2014.