Pavarotti (2019) Movie Script

We were in Brazil.
The night before,
Luciano sang for 200,000 people.
It was an amazing concert in Buenos Aires.
The next morning,
we went up the Amazon, into the jungle.
Thankfully, I had my video camera.
There was this theater
in the middle of nowhere,
and, uh, I realized this was a pilgrimage.
And Luciano said,
"I want to sing on this stage
where Caruso sang 100 years ago."
You know, we had nothing organized.
We arrive in front of the theater,
and it was completely locked up.
Nobody was there.
We found somebody, uh, to open it.
And somebody came out
and said, uh, "Who is he?"
And he said, "I am Luciano Pavarotti."
Luciano never had a plan in his mind
and was not somebody
that planned things, you know?
Things just happened.
One day, we receive a video camera.
So, I was always there with this camera,
and we shoot everything.
He really trust people.
He always thought
that everybody had a good part, you know?
He was so full of joy
and so happy all the time.
Luciano was completely conscious
of the fact
that he received a great gift from God.
Not just in opera,
but everything else in life.
It gave him purpose.
But it was also a burden.
I always wanted to understand
the reason why.
Our profession
is a very, very particular one.
You don't become well-known in a day.
In this growing, you don't realize
what is going to happen to you.
You don't know who you are, really.
I was born during the war,
so, I am carrying that.
But I was a very lucky boy,
because I was raised
in the most beautiful place.
My father was a baker and a tenor.
I was very lucky
to have my father singing in the church.
Even for a little boy, by imitation,
you always do what your father is doing,
so he was my teacher.
It was a fantastic tenor voice.
Phenomenal. Better than mine.
And nobody believed, but he was like that.
I was singing with my father
and 50 more male voice.
We went to this place in Wales
to make a competition.
1955, you won first prize in Wales.
That was one of the most important
and unforgettable day of my life.
And sharing it with all my friends
and with my father.
And that time,
I was a teacher for elementary school.
My father, he says, "Listen.
Now you study, you go to the city,
and you become professor."
Because my father
did not succeed as a tenor.
He knows how difficult it is,
even with a beautiful voice.
And I say,
"Okay, if you say so, I will do that."
My mother says, "No, I think,
when I hear my son sing,
I have something in my heart."
Oh, I say, "Mama, you say that
because you are my mother. Come on."
She says, "No, no, no, no.
No, because I don't say that
when I hear your father."
She make me do exactly what I want,
and I think for what I was born to do.
So, in 1955, I begin to study,
and six year after,
I made my debut in 1961.
So, how did you get
your first part in an opera?
I won a competition,
and the prize of the competition
was to sing on the stage
with an orchestra with a conductor
with, uh, the entire performance.
And my debut was the 29th of April, 1961,
and I was playing Rodolfo in Bohme.
In La bohme, yeah.
It was not a sensational night,
but I think everybody was very pleased,
especially my mother.
The 29th of April, 1961,
a young elementary school teacher
went on the stage, and he become a tenor.
And I fall in love.
We did live together a couple of months.
Really like bohemians.
I remember that we have the room,
one in front of the other,
and the bathroom was there for everybody.
It's love. It's passion.
It's very beautiful. It's casual.
It's everything poetic and romantic
and positive in life.
And desperate,
because there is... that is there.
London is an incredible city,
and Covent Garden is my first
important international theater.
I sang there in 1963 with great success.
Covent Garden was making
ten performance of Bohme.
Performances with Mr. Di Stefano,
who is one of the greatest tenor
of all time.
And then, when he is arriving,
he was very sick,
and he's canceling the performance,
and I am singing in his place.
And the news was incredible,
because young tenor
will substitute Di Stefano.
The work is Di Stefano,
but doesn't matter
because the young tenor was me.
Finally, I am reaching that point
in which you are able
to deal with the stage.
It's still difficult, but you made it.
So I made it.
It was very early in my career.
I was going to make my debut
in Vienna in '67.
And I had been reading
about this new superstar
that was singing
with JJoan Sutherland in a tour.
Going to Australia with Joan,
first of all, I learned to be
a very serious professional singer.
And from her, particularly,
I learned to breathe,
which is the most simple thing
but the most difficult.
What did you learn? How could you tell
what was going on inside?
Well, while singing a duet,
I tried to touch her to see
how she was doing, and...
What did you feel?
Could you feel the air?
- I saw the muscle of the diaphragm.
- Yeah.
And she use... and how firm the muscle was
before she attack any kind of note.
More than everything,
I think the technique is perfect.
I think it's probably
the most incredible technique
of all the time, I would like to say.
I think Luciano has
one of the most ideal voice
ever born on this Earth,
at least for a tenor.
Luciano's voice
always went right to my heart.
It was just one of the clearest,
most pure, most emotional,
passionate, beautiful... everything.
It's just heaven on earth, truly.
It's very important
to make people understand
that a soprano and a baritone,
they are the most natural voices.
Men, they are naturally baritones.
But to become a tenor,
that's another thing. It's more unnatural.
If you want
to become Luciano Pavarotti,
you must have the high C.
That's the most important thing.
You can have a beautiful,
nice life of the tenor,
but if you don't have a high C,
no big tenor.
When I was listening to Luciano, you know,
he was just opening his mouth,
and here it goes.
Everything... Everything was easy.
When he was singing
La fille du rgiment,
that was the opera that made him famous.
His famous, you know,
nine high C's in La fille du rgiment,
La fille du rgiment, uh,
that's, you know, opera history.
I felt like I could see his voice.
It was super clear, like a photograph.
You can count molecules practically.
It's so clear.
A tenor singing a high C
makes your ears vibrate.
There's such tension of sound.
My ears would ring.
We all dreamed to be
the most important in the operatic world.
Luciano was the one and only. Yes.
Luciano was singing
in all the theaters,
Covent Garden, Vienna,
La Scala and Metropolitan,
and many other theaters
all around the world.
All his recordings
became quite legendary.
He was labeled by Decca
as the King of the High C's.
The jump of the horse who can jump...
It's not difficult
if he reach the obstacle
at the right moment, in the right balance.
And it's the same singing the top.
Top is not difficult if you arrive there
prepared to make the top.
Can you be absolutely sure that you'll...
If you've prepared properly,
can you be sure you'll hit the note?
No. That is the beauty of my profession.
I always say that, uh,
"voice" in Spanish is feminine.
It's la voz. Also, in Italian, la voce.
In French, la voix.
So, I believe that to live with a voice,
she's like a very, very jealous
and demanding woman.
I know I cannot do anything without her,
without the voice.
You live with it, and you have to realize,
and everything affects it.
Good news, bad news,
something then it is emotional,
physically, we react.
This muscle...
you never know if they respond
to you immediately.
She's the prima donna of my body.
One day's better than another one.
Like in any relationship,
you have to know the person very well
in order to really treat
somebody that you love so much
in the best way.
So, that's the voice, you know.
She's a lady.
The opera is love, hate, death.
It is very important.
With a little makeup,
you can become another person.
The opera is something fake
that, little by little
on the stage, it become true.
I understand you carry,
of all things,
in your pocket, a bent nail.
A bent nail, yes.
It's a superstition,
and all the artists, I think, have one.
Like in English, says, "touch wood,"
in Italy, we say, "touch iron."
And we have a bent nail with iron.
It's double good luck.
Are you a devout Catholic?
I think so, very deeply.
But let's say, then, even being Catholic,
I am still superstitious, just in case.
I think there's no question
Luciano was, at heart, a simple person.
He called himself a peasant.
I think one of the reasons
that the role of Nemorino
in L'elisir d'amore was such a natural fit
is that he was a bit of a bumpkin.
He had
thousands of fans around the world.
People were queuing around the block
for tickets. They'd kill for them.
Somebody from the record company
said to Luciano,
"Well, you... You're such a nice guy...
what you need is a real bastard
to work for you."
That's how we started.
Herbert Breslin had a reputation
as being one of the most hated people
in the opera business.
I had never heard anything good about
Herbert Breslin before I worked for him.
What happened
with Luciano Pavarotti and myself
was a unity of purpose.
He wanted it, and I wanted it.
Because, as his reputation was being made,
my reputation was being made.
Herbert would also tell you
that he generated
a number of the sort of popularizing ideas
that helped make Luciano what he became.
He'd never done a concert before.
He'd never done a recital before.
I opened up the gates of music to him.
My manager sent me out
to Liberty, Missouri
by myself to make a recital.
In opera, you've got the benefit
of a costume and makeup,
and you become another character
during those three hours,
whereas in a recital, you're yourself.
It's only his voice.
You're totally exposed.
You're almost naked because, you know,
you can't hide behind anything.
Luciano said, "Oh, my God,
what am I going to do with my hands?"
His manager said to him,
"Take that handkerchief
that's in your pocket
and hold it in your hands."
My manager said,
"If you don't like it, don't do it."
And I say, "I don't like. I adore it."
We started doing recitals
in rural America.
Places that don't have opera houses.
It's a certain way
to give back what God gave to me.
It's not to make myself popular.
It's to make
the world of the opera popular.
He liked to go
to the buffets in the hotels,
and we would each fill up
two or three times
and pig out on American food.
Mac and cheese and very non-Italian stuff.
What I was able to provide him
was the dynamic of making a star.
Welcome to an historic event:
the first live telecast of an opera
from the new Metropolitan Opera House
in Lincoln Center.
Tonight's opera is La bohme,
"The Bohemians."
Luciano made his debut
at the Met, November of '68,
and it became his artistic home.
So, I think I had
a very close relationship with him
for about 20 years.
I don't think they've ever seen you...
most of them... on television like this.
Well, television like that,
I think it was never made.
It is the first time, is it not?
- Is it not the first time?
- Yes.
- And, uh...
- Have you done television opera in Europe?
- Not live. Uh...
- Okay.
- In studio, yes.
- Uh-huh.
But live, it is the first time.
- It is a new experience for me.
- Uh-huh.
And, uh, don't ask me if I am happy,
because I am never happy, and, uh...
I'll ask you if you're happy.
- Are you happy?
- I am not.
- You're not happy?
- Never. Never happy.
- Never happy? All right.
- Never happy.
I always think I can do better than I do.
He was a nervous wreck
before every performance.
He would always say, "I go to die."
We go to die.
And he would always
end up living after the performance.
You could see the public
was absolutely taking to this man.
Because of his smile,
because of his artistry,
and because of his personality.
They couldn't get enough of him.
Good morning from Chicago,
where I am pleased to introduce
to a very excited audience,
Luciano Pavarotti.
Luciano, you know, loved pasta.
He'd come to our apartment for dinner,
and he'd want to cook.
Garlic, sliced.
- All that?
- Yes.
Going to be fantastic.
Olive oil.
Red pepper.
You're serious now?
- I am very serious.
- All right, all right.
You will cry later, probably.
When you taste.
When he was in New York, he would
always cook this spicy spaghetti for me.
- He didn't like Indian food too much.
- Mmm.
Mr. Pavarotti, on the road,
do you like to have a hotel room with a...
...with a kitchen?
Isn't that right? You...
It's pretty common, I think,
for big international stars
to try to take their home with them,
because you're just always
in a hotel room.
Not being home, not being with his family,
he led a lonely life.
And that's why, I think,
he had the big entourage all the time.
And the after-performances,
all the people going to dinner.
- Can we agree, sir, that it is fattening?
- Hmm.
No doubt about that.
One day, he says,
"Now, this is how you lose weight.
First, we have chicken,
beans and mashed potatoes.
And after that, we then have
four scoops of vanilla ice cream."
And he eats quickly his three scoops,
and he pushes the plate away,
leaving a scoop.
He said, "Now, that's the diet.
You don't eat the last scoop.
I guarantee you, you'll lose weight."
That was his diet.
He absolutely hated being alone.
For somebody who was so big and famous,
he was extremely vulnerable
in so many ways.
He had a lot of nerves,
and I think the audience
could connect with that.
What am I? Am I successful,
or am I just famous?
That, I don't know. I don't care.
I know that people
recognize me on the street. Very good.
But I have three daughters and one wife,
and when I am at home,
I know exactly who I am.
Nothing. Exactly zero.
But I am happy.
Even successful nothings
carry the American Express Card.
The American Express commercial
paid $10,000, which is chicken feed.
But it didn't matter.
It was all over the place.
And do you know me?
Well, if you didn't know me,
you'd know him pretty soon.
Would you welcome, please,
Luciano Pavarotti?
Luciano Pavarotti.
- Luciano Pavarotti.
- Luciano Pavarotti.
to this afternoon's special class
with Mr. Pavarotti and the students
of the Juilliard Voice Department.
Luciano Pavarotti.
Before I met Luciano,
I had no idea who he was.
I should be embarrassed to say that.
I was already
in my second year at Juilliard.
He was doing a master class.
Master class.
The word by itself already scare me.
I am very, very nervous.
It's a daunting experience,
but Luciano was very good
at putting people at ease.
And especially in front of an audience.
He was already a maestro
listening to younger singers
and, you know, knowing the repertoire
and knowing the vocal difficulties
and being able to say something
to make it better.
Wow. Beautiful voice.
I think, for your voice, you should
take the tempo just a little quick.
Un poco pi veloce.
Doesn't matter what the piano play,
what the orchestra play,
with the right tempo, for everybody.
Can you try the beginning, please?
I always knew I wanted to sing
from the time I was young,
and I had studied Italian
and lived in France when I was little,
so I had several languages.
Luciano, he needed somebody
to answer his phones
and somebody to answer his fan mail.
He said, "If you help me out,
I will work with your voice."
He loved teaching.
That's what maestro is. He's a teacher.
He had great teachers as a young person,
and he was very, very technically educated
as a tenor student.
When I was a kid,
I gave up everything.
I begin to go to bed early every night.
I try with all my power,
studying the singing,
and become a more serious student.
I'd have two teachers.
One was a tenor,
and he give me vocal ways.
And the second one
is a very, very famous teacher,
and he was more about the phrasing,
the music.
Technique was everything to him.
Technique and language meant so much.
When studying our profession,
Italian opera is the base for opera.
First, we have the words.
The composer, he has the words,
and then he put the notes.
The composers, they are based
on the meaning of the word.
It's the most important
to understand how to...
to share that emotion
from that particular word with the public.
Composers like Mozart, Verdi, Donizetti,
they use the language.
So, if you pronounce it well,
you get the rhythm immediately,
'cause the rhythm is in the music, too.
It's about breathing.
Controlling your diaphragm.
Taking your air in,
and you're the one that decides
where your air goes, how it goes out,
how long your phrase is.
As Luciano used to say...
You measure your breath.
It's how you coordinate
everything with feelings.
With expression, you know?
With temperament. With joy.
The public, they don't know
what are you doing, but they feel it.
- Beautiful.
- Beautiful.
If you just have, singing,
a quarter of the beauty voice
you have speaking, my dear,
you would be yourself a great singer.
- Oh, thank you very much.
- I'm sure.
- Beautiful voice.
- You sly dog, you.
You go right to the ladies, you see?
Right to the ladies.
I saw you before.
Luciano was mischievous.
He had... How would I say? Monello.
That would be the word I would use.
It's an Italian word for,
you know, like a schoolboy sense of humor.
He would take delight in the little
funny things, you know? The stupid things.
Mr. Pavarotti, speaking on behalf
of all the ladies in the audience,
we should like you to know
that we love large men,
and particularly...
Especially large men with large voices.
Do you think
that your huggable extra inches
helps to produce that beautiful resonance?
I think so.
When I was born in this building,
it was already six year
that a boy was not born.
So I was the first boy after six years
born in a house with 15 family,
100 people.
My mother embraced me,
and with all the women of this house,
I was the Lucianino.
Everybody was looking for me.
I was very much spoiled, loved,
but even... kept smart.
I think Luciano loved women.
And he also trusted them.
He was brought up by women.
He had aunties, his mum.
And, of course, with Adua,
he had three daughters.
And then Alice and Nicoletta.
He definitely had an affinity for women.
And I think, the bossier we were,
the more he argued with us,
but the more he trusted us
as well, I think.
I was accompanying him
on all his tours all over the place.
I remember he had 28 suitcases.
You know, Luciano never packed
a suitcase in his life.
He was very demanding.
God forbid his handkerchiefs
weren't where they were supposed to be.
You know, I mean,
it was difficult at times.
I had to take care of his schedule,
who he was supposed to meet,
when his rehearsals were,
and I was singing with him.
The relationship was so all-encompassing
because I was the friend,
the student, the secretary.
He was my mentor,
my teacher, my... my love.
I never thought that I would end up
in a relationship with Luciano.
But it was hard to see
where to draw a line.
I remember a recital, and I was backstage,
you know, holding his water
and his hot tea or whatever,
and all of a sudden, it's like, you know,
he dragged me out on the stage
to sing La bohme, the duet.
Luciano always said
there are no great teachers
or no great students.
It's the meeting of the two, together.
One of the execs in my office
came to me and showed me an article
that the maestro
had just sold out Madison Square Garden.
And I thought,
"Hmm. That looks interesting."
Most of my life at that point
was based around rock and roll concerts.
I had just booked six nights
at Earls Court for Bruce Springsteen
and paid the deposit.
And then I got a phone call
from Bruce's manager to say
that Bruce doesn't want to do
an arena in London.
So I was stuck.
I was in for half a million pounds.
So I set about everybody in my office
looking for an alternative
to put into Earls Court.
And then this chap came into my office
and showed me this article,
and I just said, "Get him."
Herbert Breslin.
So we tracked down
Herbert Breslin, who was his manager,
who refused point-blank to speak to me.
And he said, "Why on earth would I
want to talk to a rock and roll promoter?"
And he kind of emphasized
the "rock" and the "roll."
And I said, "I don't know, really.
I produce concerts. I'm quite good at it."
I kept faxing over offers,
till the point where the offer was so good
that he finally picked the phone up
and he said, "Can we meet?"
So I arranged a lunch in my office.
We sat down, we started talking,
and I realized very early on
that Breslin was a diva.
Was a real diva.
But Pavarotti was different.
The first concert that we put on together,
I took my parents backstage,
and they were so excited to meet him.
And he literally chucked everybody
out of the dressing room.
My mother came out just streaming tears.
And I thought, "Oh, my God,
what's happened?"
He had sat my mum and dad down,
and sang an aria to them.
They told me what happened.
I was quite taken aback, to be honest.
He had this knack above any other person
I'd ever met in my life
of making people feel he was their friend,
that they were special.
What time is it, please?
It was a miracle, no doubt.
From that day, just say, "My dear,
the life is the most important
thing you have.
Let's start again."
About that time, I worked for PolyGram,
which was one of the biggest
record companies in the world.
And we bought Decca Records.
And Pavarotti
was one of their biggest assets.
Almost immediately, we found out
that Pavarotti had been recording
for someone else
while he was under a huge contract
exclusively to Decca.
And I was told to go and tell him off.
I was a nothing little pip-squeak
in the company,
and it was also my first meeting
with the maestro.
So I went to his room at the Savoy
and knocked on the door,
and he said, "Oh, come in. Sit down."
It was obviously quite intimidating.
So I said,
"Maestro, I've come to tell you off."
And he said, "What, what?
Why? What, what?"
I said, "Well, have you been recording
for someone else?"
And he said, "Yes, yes, my wife's company.
I make wonderful records for them."
I said,
"Well, look, you're not allowed to."
He said,
"What do you mean, 'not allowed to?'"
I said,
"Because you are under exclusive contract,
and you are only, only allowed to record
for the Decca record company,
no one else."
"So, this is the meaning of 'exclusive'?"
I said, "Yes, that is exclusive.
Yes, you cannot do it. You must not."
"Ah," he said. "Life is too short."
So I went back to the office,
and they were all desperate to know
what the maestro had said.
"What did he say?" I said,
"Well, he said, 'Life's too short.'"
"What did you say?" I said,
"Well, I couldn't think of anything to say
'cause he's right."
So, we went
and we bought his wife's company
for a modest amount of money,
and he was happy, his wife was happy,
everyone was happy.
It was a life lesson.
Those people that infect you
with understanding the difference
between a business life
and a human life are rare.
During the '80s, he started working
with a Hungarian promoter, Tibor Rudas,
and things just got bigger.
I was the vice president of
the first casino opened in Atlantic City.
I built a theater for them, and I used
practically every contemporary artist
known in the United States.
Sinatra. Diana Ross. Anybody.
It was funny because
the manager was actually Herbert Breslin,
and Herbert wouldn't let you do anything.
And then Tibor Rudas
took him out into the arenas,
and he wanted him to do everything.
Tibor made a career with Luciano,
taking him into stadiums,
various capitals of the world.
Suddenly, in between my relationship
which was just beginning with Breslin,
I get a phone call from Tibor Rudas.
He said, "Anything you do from here on in,
you work for me, got it?"
I said, "Okay."
Once Tibor got in the picture,
the whole financial picture changed.
That was certainly an important point
in the development of Luciano's career.
He was branching out.
Everything became more geared
towards mass appeal.
It's important to remember
that there's a huge tradition
of opera stars
as huge popular entertainers.
The opera stars of their day
were the movie stars of today.
There's an exact link.
And so Pavarotti
is picking up on a tradition
that's very much embodied
by Enrico Caruso, say,
who was the first and one of
the greatest recording stars of all time.
Caruso was this unbelievably,
globally popular tenor
who would attract
hundreds of thousands of people
wherever he went,
just to catch a glimpse of him,
forget about seeing him perform.
Pavarotti was the kind of
Caruso of his age.
And finally this evening, opera in China.
The great Italian tenor, Pavarotti.
ABC's Jim Laurie is in Beijing.
The Western Opera Company
had never been to China.
Enter the imposing figure
of Luciano Pavarotti
in his first tour of China.
Three weeks in which
to embrace the Chinese.
I am very happy to be here.
For all of us, it is completely new.
And I hope especially that the public
is going to enjoy it.
Mao Zedong had departed from the scene
not much before we went to China.
And Luciano took the full opera company,
a press crew and everybody.
The Chinese did not have
a classical music tradition.
It was totally foreign to their culture.
I was a little kid,
and here comes this wonderful Italian guy,
pretty big guy,
but with the most beautiful smile.
I would say, uh, Pavarotti,
when he smiles
with this white handkerchief,
the whole world opens for him.
Pavarotti, before his visit,
we know who he is, but...
we don't know so much about opera.
He certainly gave the Chinese audience
their first inspiration
on how to understand opera.
In 1986, in China, I had just turned 30.
Luciano was still married,
and I knew that I had to make a break
from my relationship with Luciano.
So I did make a break.
It was a painful moment for me.
It was a painful moment for him.
I did not speak to Luciano for years
after I went my own way.
At that time, the late 1980s,
Pavarotti is the single most recognizable
operatic figure of the last 50 years.
But, over the course
of the next few years,
Luciano wasn't focused
on the opera anymore.
From my perspective,
it was a picture of somebody
who was a little bewildered, I think.
And had a big monkey on his back,
in terms of a big career
and a lot of responsibilities
and not a lot of clarity
about where he was going with it.
Everything was really very difficult,
but I still have to go on the stage
to act for the night for the public.
I am putting the white makeup
of the clown on the face.
I watch myself in the mirror,
and I say, "It is the life.
You have to go out.
You have to laugh,
even if you have the death in your heart.
You have to try to enjoy
the people like every night."
How can you stay in front of an audience
and say something
if you don't believe in it?
There is no bluff in this profession.
This is not a poker game.
It is a chess game.
And if you lose,
you don't have any excuse.
Jos was a very young tenor,
and the doctors say that he has leukemia.
And he was one year out of the stage.
Jos Carreras,
one of the world's most popular singers,
spent ten months undergoing
intensive treatment in Barcelona
and in a specialist clinic in Seattle.
Luciano called me
in my hospital in Seattle.
"Teacher..." He always
called me always "teacher."
"Teacher, how are you doing?
Get well soon.
I don't have competition otherwise."
After that, I had the idea,
maybe we could do a concert
that, uh, puts me back onstage.
In those days, the three of us
used to live in the same building
in Central Park South,
and we had a common friend.
He came to Luciano and me and said,
"What would you feel of doing
a concert with JJos?"
The idea was that, since all three tenors
really love football
and the World Cup
was going on at the same time,
to get them there at the eve
of the finals, they will all agree.
July in Rome is the scene
of an historic concert.
Three of the world's greatest tenors
on the same stage for the first time:
Luciano Pavarotti, Plcido Domingo
and the recently critically ill
Jos Carreras.
I feel... It's almost...
The feeling is that, eh?
I thought they will have arguments
who will sing which aria.
There's so much repertoire.
So we all rehearsed it on the spot.
One of us suggested,
"Why don't you do this one and I do that?"
And there was no... no... no argument ever.
So, we divide some of the numbers.
So, to pick, you know,
between the saddest and so and so.
I think a good way
to know a person
is sharing the stage with him.
You know what kind of determination,
you know what kind of fears
he's bringing to every performance.
Uh, the moment of being on the stage,
there was the competition.
It was okay, like,
"Anything you do, I can do better."
That feeling was
in the spirit of the moment, you know?
"Boy, what a phrase you did.
Now let me do this one."
It was fantastic in the artistic side,
but in the personal side,
believe me, it was even better.
We were going to leave Luciano
to sing "Nessun dorma"
because it was his signature aria.
But, uh, we end the program,
and we don't have more music,
and we don't know what to do,
and I say to Luciano, "Why we don't do
the 'Nessun dorma' the three together?"
And we did this version,
which is something
that was, uh, very special.
It's kind of hard
to overstate what an impact that had.
It was like a tidal wave.
The Three Tenors transformed three guys
into the biggest band in the world.
All of a sudden, classical departments
were the hottest departments
in the record business.
Rudas took on the Three Tenors,
you know, worldwide.
Also, things catapulted after that.
By this point,
Breslin was already sidelined.
Rudas was the Svengali behind all of it.
Pavarotti became the global rock star.
Cut above anybody else.
There were a number of times
when he was difficult.
He had his moments, kicking and screaming,
"I don't want to perform,"
and all the rest of it.
Please, please, please, please, please.
Just make my part.
We'd had a very infamous
kind of hurricane in London,
where a lot of trees were blown down.
I went to see the Royal Parks Authority
and said, "We would love to do
a concert with Pavarotti."
And I suggested
that we raise a sum of money
towards planting trees to replace
the trees that have been knocked down,
which, of course, went down brilliantly.
They loved it.
Luciano Pavarotti,
seen here planting a tree
for the Prince of Wales'
Royal Parks Tree Appeal.
This evening,
the Prince and Princess Diana
will join an estimated 250,000 people
to celebrate the 30th anniversary
of Pavarotti's professional debut.
A lot of the Royal Family came.
Most of the cabinet came.
So it was a pretty star-studded event.
The day of the concert,
I open the window, and it's raining.
And I say to my agent, "Let's go home,"
because nobody's going to come.
It was like somebody was throwing
buckets of water just down from the sky,
and it just never stopped.
Well, we are in England,
so, of course,
it was umbrellas everywhere.
The maestro got to the second aria.
People were holding up their umbrellas.
People behind couldn't see.
They were shouting,
and there was this noise going on.
I literally rushed onstage,
grabbed the microphone, and I just said...
And the first person to jump up
was Princess Diana,
who had a guy behind
standing with an umbrella.
She said, "Take the umbrella down."
And there was this ripple effect
all the way back through the audience.
Everybody put their umbrellas down,
and the concert carried on.
The next aria...
the next aria is from the same opera
that I have sung now, Manon.
The title of the aria
is "Donna non vidi mai."
This mean, "I have never seen
a woman like that."
And with your permission,
I would like to dedicate to Lady Diana.
It was something magical,
that connection between the two of them.
Like it was out of a fairy tale.
I brought Princess Diana backstage.
They were kind of giggling,
the pair of them. It was really funny.
The Royal Family, they may attend events,
but they don't normally
come to dinners afterwards.
But I invited Princess Diana
to come along,
and much to everybody's amazement,
she said yes.
At dinner, the maestro
sat next to Princess Diana,
and they just hit it off famously.
They became really, really good friends,
and they both had
a wicked sense of humor as well.
They agreed to do things together,
and subsequently, we did another concert
for the Red Cross.
All of a sudden,
it was less about him as a singer
and more about charity.
His focus changed.
He was always generous,
but he became completely obsessed
by what he could do for others.
He wouldn't just put money into a charity.
He wanted to know that it was building
a school or a health center.
Always around children in the communities.
That goodness resonated out of him.
And it's almost like,
"I've reached a stage in my career
where this is what I'm able to do now."
The tears of Luciano Pavarotti.
An emotion never felt onstage before.
But the place where he performed
without a script,
libretto or his big tenor voice
today is an unusual stage:
the center for bone marrow transplant
at Pesaro.
Pavarotti is surrounded by
many children from all over the world,
and here they've ended
a long journey towards hope.
Here they've managed to defeat
a rare blood disease
with a transplant
that has made the center of Pesaro
one of the most qualified in the world.
Pavarotti's visit coincides
with the delivery
of a check for $300,000 to the foundation.
This is the first act of a project
that will be followed by a charity concert
given for Pavarotti International
in Modena.
One afternoon, I get a phone call
from Rudas, and he said,
"So, Pavarotti's gonna have
all you rock people playing with him
in his farm in Modena,
and you're going to pay for it."
Plunk. Hello?
Rudas called back and said,
"He wants to do a concert.
Not my idea. It's your world.
You deal with it. You pay for it."
I said, "What are you talking about?"
We make a charity
with pop singer in Modena.
I always found myself
very happy to do this thing.
He took ownership
of this one charity concert every year.
He would turn up on the day,
not quite sure who was gonna be there.
And I think
they sometimes didn't know
who was flying in the night before,
were there any rehearsals.
And it would never start on time.
But it always had
something magic about it.
For me, it was very difficult
'cause I can't say pop
and opera singer in the same time.
No. Never.
Luciano wasn't focused
on the opera anymore at that point,
and there were critics around
who were shocked,
and the opera world was kind of left cold.
I received some criticism
from people then.
Probably they don't understand,
or probably they want to put
a dagger in my body.
And, uh, I'm telling you
with all my power, I don't care.
Pavarotti & Friends concerts
every year became,
you know, far more important in his life.
And after the first time,
Nicoletta came on the scene.
The first day we met
actually was here,
practically where we are now.
I was very young. I was, like, 23,
and I was studying natural science.
And, uh, like most of the students,
during summertime,
I was always looking
for little jobs around, you know,
to try to pay for school.
Nicoletta worked at the horse show,
and she knew nothing about opera.
I don't think
she particularly liked opera,
but the chemistry between them was magical
right from the beginning.
Luciano, since the beginning,
told me that the previous relation
was finished, since long time.
So I never felt guilty, you know?
I never felt it to be
the reason of something.
At the beginning, we told everybody
that I was the assistant.
But, um, that was not true.
It's not easy to say I have a relation
with a man 34 years older.
The attack was strong.
But Luciano was my great defender,
you know?
He was always protecting me.
Not much after we were together,
I found out to be sick
of multiple sclerosis.
And that was, uh,
a very difficult moment for us.
I realized, I said,
"You know, I don't think
I can be with you anymore."
And he was incredible,
because he said something
that really brought me tears even now.
He said, "You know...
until now, I loved you,
but from now on, I adore you."
"We will be together,
and we will fight the sickness."
And I think this is what love does,
you know... makes you feel better.
He said, "You know,
you have to watch your sickness now,
like an opportunity.
Not like something bad
that happened to you."
And I think he got his vision of life
when he was very young.
After the war, when he was 12 years old,
he had a form of tetanus
from playing outside.
And he almost died.
I was in coma for two weeks.
And I always hear the people
that they come to visit me,
and they say, "Well, the priest arrived."
It was the reason
that I am an optimistic person.
Because, when you come out
from something like that,
you are definitely a survivor.
Somebody would just say
to himself in this dramatic moment,
if I just say,
"I'm going to make it. I will enjoy life.
I will enjoy the sun, the sky,
the tree, everything."
Luciano said,
"Now, when you see a sunset,
you really feel the sunset inside of you."
And he was right,
because even the perception
of the important things in life change.
You stop making drama for little things,
you know?
Because, you know that the real drama
is something else.
You understand that you need to feel it
and to live it, you know?
Nicoletta is an extremely bright person,
and she just got on with it.
And she became very, very instrumental
in Pavarotti & Friends.
After the second concert,
Luciano invited a lot of musicians
from the pop world.
But I want to make it bigger, you know?
So I started from the band
I like most in my life.
Luciano started to call my home in Dublin.
Hello? I'm Mr. Pavarotti.
You have Luciano Pavarotti,
the greatest singer on Earth,
maybe who ever existed,
calling you at home
to try and get us to write a song.
We called Bono for ages.
He became friend of the housekeeper
of Bono because she was Italian.
Our housekeeper, Theresa,
he just got to know her.
He'd ring and say, "Is God at home?"
The technique was one of humility,
which is, of course,
a very mischievous trick.
He had turned our housekeeper
into his consigliere.
Because, at breakfast, dinner and tea,
she was like,
"Have you got that song done for him?"
Bono said, "I... I don't have a song.
I have no idea."
And Luciano said, "God will inspire you."
I remember it was Easter coming up,
and he said,
"Ah, God will sing him something."
And I woke up with the melody.
I mean, it really did happen like that.
My father put a love of opera in me,
for sure,
so I just imagined it was my father, Bob,
singing in the shower.
And then Edge came in,
his father being a tenor also.
And he said, "Yeah,
but he'll want a higher note to hit."
After we wrote the song
and recorded the song,
we thought it would be the end of this,
you know, just to give him the song.
Oh, no, just the start.
He then started to petition
our housekeeper, Theresa,
"We need them in Modena.
They now have to play the song."
And I explained,
we definitely couldn't play Modena.
The band couldn't do it.
We were in the studio at the moment.
And before I could say no,
he said, "Well, look,
I'm on my way to the studio."
And I said, "No, we're in Dublin."
He says, "I am in Dublin."
So, there's a knock at the door.
He arrives with a fucking... camera crew
to say, "Now you can tell the people
that you're coming."
How could you say no to that?
You couldn't. He knew that.
Welcome to Dublin.
- Thank you.
- And this is Brian.
- Brian Eno.
- Hello, Brian.
- Hi. We met.
- Ciao.
We met already.
Is it true that,
uh, this song about Sarajevo?
Uh, it's true that, uh, the maestro here
has been haunting me and, uh...
...he has, like a spirit,
uh, been in this building,
uh, long before he arrived here in person.
And, uh, we made a piece
called "Miss Sarajevo."
We hope to perf...
We will perform this song in Modena on...
- What is the date?
- The 12th of September.
Luciano is
one of the great emotional arm wrestlers.
And he will break your fucking arm.
And so we ended up in Modena, of course.
Is there a time
For keeping your distance?
A time to turn your eyes away?
Is there a time
For keeping your head down?
For getting on with your day?
Here she comes
Ooh, ooh
Heads turn around
Here she comes
To take her crown...
I remembered myself
when we were bombed here in the last war.
The gun machine.
The war, the sound of all the night long.
To see hanged people.
- You saw that?
- Oh, yes.
I don't want to say every day, but almost.
It was quite something for a kid.
Dici che come il fiume
Come il fiume
E non so pi pregare...
He was crushed by injustice,
and the war deeply offended him.
He just had this sense in him
that he better use this other currency
and try to do something with it.
He wanted to go to Bosnia
to help the children,
to give them a hope for the future,
because Luciano was one of those children.
Is there a time...
We tried to make something,
a kind of music conservatory
where the kid go there to sing.
It was the most important thing.
This is for Bosnia.
It's for the kid of Bosnia.
Bono! Bono! Bono! Bono!
Bono! Bono! Bono!
We went to Barbados
every year, you know, for one month.
That was our rest.
That moment was really a bad moment
because, at that point,
the relationship became public.
In every Italian opera,
there's the scena madre.
That's the dramatic scene where the hero
comes face-to-face with potential tragedy.
These days in Modena, almost everyone
has something to say
about Pavarotti's scena madre
and how it will play itself out.
It's disgusting.
At the age of 60,
he shouldn't do such things.
Well, he was the most famous Catholic
in the most Catholic of all countries.
Divorce at that time was unthinkable.
So they would devote
quite a lot of the paper to it.
In Italy, this story played out for years.
These days,
there are no real marriages.
Men have four or five wives.
There is no respect.
So, at the beginning, I spent,
unfortunately, my life trying to show
that it wasn't like that.
I should've said, "You are wasting time."
They will still think like that.
And while Mrs. Pavarotti is in seclusion,
her lawyer says all the family hopes
is that Luciano tires of it all.
It was bad because,
uh, I was suffering myself.
But my wife suffered more.
But they understand that I fell in love.
He caught it in the neck
for Pavarotti the pop star.
And now falling in love...
...he caught it in the neck again.
But he was owning up to his humanity.
The grandiosity of the voice
completely disguised
the fact that he could be
extremely humble.
And that was a shock to me.
And we ended up becoming great friends.
And then she got pregnant.
I thought, "Wow."
The incredible thing,
that they were twins.
So we were so happy, you know?
We had double the happiness.
We had a very complicated, uh, pregnancy.
There was, um,
kind of a tumor called molar.
The doctor said, um, in America,
said that I should give up.
No way.
So I found a doctor in Italy, said,
"You know, there are just five, um,
cases like that in the world,
and they were all... ended badly."
So I said,
"I want to try anyway," you know?
Eventually, they had twins,
obviously, and unfortunately,
what happened...
Riccardo was lost. He was stillborn.
We lost my son.
Very sad day.
But we have Alice, so still a blessing.
All the love that we should have
for both of them is on her.
Obviously, it was incredibly difficult
at first. And she was tiny.
Right from the start of her life,
you know, she was hanging on.
She was strong.
I remember his wedding.
These people from the Emilia region,
they know how to enjoy life.
The Vatican forbade him
from marrying Nicoletta in a church,
so, of course, they got married
in the opera house.
And Alice became his angel.
- Ah!
- Ah.
I was filming every little detail.
Because she was such a joy for us,
you know, and that we wait
for Alice for such a long time.
Some month before we had Alice,
Luciano became grandfather
for the first time.
For him, it was very important
to have the family together.
Everything that happened
could not be an ending, you know?
We had to start living again.
I learned to love people.
But you cannot, you know, say "learned,"
because you are born
- with this kind of thing inside you.
- Right.
But I keep going on
trusting blindly everybody,
- and, uh, most...
- So, even today?
- Even today. Why?
- You're a trusting person?
- Are you joking? I will...
- Well...
I will...
I will not exist if I don't trust people.
I remember getting
a call from Nicoletta,
and I went over to see Pavarotti,
and he said,
"I want to do 40 concerts or thereabouts
around the world.
Not in a rush.
And I want to open a school.
And go back to the opera house."
He said, "You've been with me
for a long time,
and you never let me down.
And you're not gonna
let me down now, are you?"
And I said, "No. It's gonna be fantastic."
Pavarotti, at his best,
he was just a gorgeous, glorious singer.
He rode on that for a long time,
past his heyday and past his best,
into roles that weren't so great for him.
You know, the voice, it was interesting,
but, you know, it just...
his voice doesn't ping like it used to.
He made each of his high C's.
He was straining a bit.
He was trying very hard,
but it didn't come out the way he and I
would have liked it to come out.
I remember somebody saying to me,
"Oh, no, I saw him in the great days.
It was a whole different thing."
I just think,
"You don't know anything, do you?
You don't know anything about singing."
The reason why he is great
is because he has lived those songs,
and you can hear them
in every crack of his voice.
You have to break your heart again
and again and again to sing those songs.
It really pisses me off
when people miss that.
Because these are well-known songs.
What can you bring to them?
The only thing you can bring to them
is your entire life.
A life that's been lived,
the mistakes you've made,
the hopes, the desires...
that's... all that stuff
comes crashing into the performance.
I was conducting Tosca,
and I will never forget
Luciano singing as the noble character.
At the end of the opera,
he knows then he's going to die.
Opera star Luciano Pavarotti
is in the hospital.
Last year, doctors discovered
he had pancreatic cancer.
He underwent surgery for it in New York.
His spokesman says
Pavarotti was taken to the hospital
in his hometown in Italy two days ago
but isn't saying anything
about his condition.
Pavarotti is 71.
We didn't know,
but he was already sick.
And I kept crying,
and he was trying really to...
to tell me that everything will be okay.
Because his frame of mind was like that...
believing... believing in life.
Giuliana called me
and said her father was in the hospital.
And then I got on a plane,
and I went to see him.
The thing that really saddened me
about Luciano was he felt cheated.
He was madder than hell.
He'd just married Nicoletta,
and he was leaving her
and their daughter alone.
Our daughter was very young.
Was four and half.
And I always ask him,
"Why don't you write something to Alice?"
And he said, "No,
because if I write something,
then she will stay with this for her...
all her life, and she will not
be able to speak to me.
It's not right. She has to be free.
Completely free, you know?
I don't want to impose anything, you know?
She must be free."
Nessun dorma
Nessun dorma
Tu pure, o Principessa
Nella tua fredda stanza
Guardi le stelle
Che tremano d'amore
E di speranza
Ma il mio mistero chiuso in me
Il nome mio nessun sapr
No, no
Sulla tua bocca
Lo dir
Quando la luce
Ed il mio bacio scioglier
Il silenzio
Che ti fa mia
Dilegua, o notte
Tramontate, stelle
All'alba vincer