Brian Wise covers the classical music business for WQXR, including aspects of performance, technology, philanthropy and institutional trends. He manages the station's homepage and makes sure what you hear on air is what you see online. Follow him on Twitter at @Briancwise.
Listen: Newly Discovered Early Pavarotti Recording to be Released
Listen to a short sample of the rediscovered recording
Friday, August 02, 2013 - 04:00 PM
A recently discovered recording of Luciano Pavarotti – believed to be the late tenor's first – will be commercially released in October by Decca records as part of a new compilation.
The recording, of "Che Gelida Manina" from Puccini’s La Bohème, was made on Aug. 25, 1963, as part of his English television debut on “Sunday Night at the London Palladium,” a popular weekly variety show. An estimated 15 million viewers tuned in that night to hear the 27-year-old singer.
The tape lay unheard in the singer's personal archives for five decades before it was unearthed by his widow, Nicoletta Mantovani, and re-mastered for release.
The same year as the recording, Pavarotti made his Royal Opera House debut as Rodolfo in La Bohème and was immediately signed by Decca. To mark the anniversary, the label will release an album of 50 of his notable arias, songs and duets.
In a statement, Mantovani said: "It is so wonderful that Decca is keeping Luciano's memory alive in this way, particularly with the celebration of this momentous anniversary."
Last month, Mantovani sold Pavarotti's former New York apartment in the Hampshire House on Central Park South, for $999,990. The Real Deal reports that it was one of three units Pavarotti owned on the same floor of this building. In November, Mantovani offloaded one of the one-bedroom properties to the same buyers. She reportedly plans to keep the third apartment, a two-bedroom unit, for herself.