Friday 19 July 2019

Heaven sent: Pavarotti's 'Ave Maria' duet with Bono released for first time

Bono bows before Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti (R) at the end of his performance at the 'Pavarotti & Friends 2003' concert in Modena, Italy, May 27, 2003
Bono bows before Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti (R) at the end of his performance at the 'Pavarotti & Friends 2003' concert in Modena, Italy, May 27, 2003

Lucy Mapstone

A collection of rare Pavarotti duets with the likes of Bono, Sting and James Brown are to be released for the first time.

Six previously unreleased live performances by the late Italian tenor with some of the world's leading pop and rock stars will appear as bonus material on two new releases to coincide with Ron Howard's new documentary film about the opera star, in cinemas next month.

The duets are from the 'Pavarotti And Friends' benefit concerts, held in his hometown of Modena, Italy between 1992 and 2003 and include his performance of Schubert's 'Ave Maria' with U2 star Bono. With Brown, Pavarotti sang 'It's A Man's Man's Man's World', and with Sting he performed 'When We Dance'.

The other collaborations being released are 'Perfect Day' with Lou Reed, 'Too Much Love Will Kill You' with Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor, and 'You're The First, My Last, My Everything' with Barry White. The concerts were held to raise money for humanitarian groups including War Child at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Another track being made available for the first time is 'Miserere', co-written by Italian rock star Zucchero and Bono and performed by Pavarotti and Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli. According to record label Decca, which is releasing the tracks, Pavarotti's musical collaborations with stars of the pop, rock and soul worlds helped to "open up the world of opera to a wider audience".

Howard's film, released on July 15, includes never-before-seen footage, history-making performances and intimate interviews about Pavarotti, who died in 2007 at the age of 71.

Irish Independent

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