Herbert Breslin, Pavarotti's Former Manager, Dies at 87

Listen to a 2004 WNYC Interview with Herbert Breslin

Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 03:33 PM

Herbert Breslin, the hard-driving music publicist and manager who helped to mastermind Luciano Pavarotti's career, died on Thursday at age 87.

Breslin became the tenor's manager in 1967 and the two went on to work together for 36 years. Under Breslin's guidance, Pavarotti became a fixture of opera houses and later, stadiums and arenas, particularly as a member of The Three Tenors. Breslin was a controversial figure in the classical music field, known for his colorful language and shrewd business acumen.

Breslin's firm, Herbert Breslin Public Relations, also represented Plácido Domingo, and he even worked for both Pavarotti and Domingo simultaneously for one stretch. Among his other clients was the pianist Alicia de Larrocha.

In 2002 Pavarotti split with Breslin, which was followed two years later by the publication of a book co-written with Washington Post classical music critic Anne Midgette called The King and I. The biography is a candid take on the singer's career including his many quirks and foibles.

The news of Breslin's death at a hotel in Nice, France was first reported by Midgette. She shares her memories of their collaboration in a blog post.

In October 2004, Breslin and Midgette were guests on WNYC's Soundcheck. Of his partnership with Pavarotti the former said, "Luciano and I, we did everything in sync. We had plans, we had objectives, we made decisions, and we did them together. We were like a team. I might propose an idea and most of the time he'd say yes—which was not how it was later on—but we were pretty much in sync."

Below is the full audio of that interview:

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Comments [4]

Martin G.Matsil from brooklyn,NY

Mr.Breslin was a genious,and was a great manager,and had one of God's greatest singers,who glorified,Him,doing great things,I never had the pleasure of meeting Maestro pavarotti,king of the high c's,but have his life stories,both are engaging,and tell the story of the tenor from his own point of view.And I also own alot of his albums,and his vice matured and from a true lyric tenor,to a Spinto-Lyric tenor,and his notes became even more beautiful.lanza,who was Mr.Pavarotti's inspiration along with Jussi Bjorling,were great tenors in their own right.They are also my inspiration,but in 1981,i had the priveledge to meet the prevailing tenor,Placido Domingo,also a spinto lyric tenor,(Honor the other word,I ment to use.God bless them all.

Jan. 31 2014 11:36 AM

I was introduced to Mr. Breslin many years ago at a back stage party at The Garden by Luciano P. To say Herb Breslin was a "colorful" person is putting it mildly :)!! He was without a doubt the one man that put Luciano on the map and in our hearts! Rest in peace, Mr. Breslin.

May. 18 2012 09:29 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

My typo, sorry, it should have been spelled SOL HUROK.

May. 17 2012 06:15 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

HERBERT BRESLIN perhaps the most successful theatrical manager for opera, second only to Soil Hurok, who IMHO, brought the classical and pop audiences together as never before. achieved his goals and lived to be cognizant of developments that employed his formats and his programming with the assist from more sophisticated technologies. I am a Wagnerian romantischer heldentenor, the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where all the roles of Wagner and Shakespeare are coached, and an opera composer of “Shakespeare” and “The Political Shakespeare." I have sung, and commercially recorded LIVE for Valhalla Records CDs four main hall, Isaac Stern Auditorium, solo concerts, three of them three hours long.

May. 17 2012 06:08 PM

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