Pavarotti and all his Friends

Pavarotti and all his Friends

Jenna Simeonov

I indulged in some Pavarotti & Friends today, and pulled out a few favourites to share. I recognized that song recipe for Pavarotti’s duets with famous pop singers: the famous pop singer starts off by singing the first verse au naturel, and Pav joins in for the second verse, in Italian, with what sometimes sounds like a totally new melody. It made me think vaguely of team of song-arrangers that work on a Pavarotti & Friends program, and then imagine a bizarre rehearsal between Pav and, say, Bryan Adam. These duets always start off odd for me, since I’m always wondering what Pavarotti is really thinking when he shares the stage with people like Stevie Wonder and Barry White. Sometimes I can’t get over the difference in the simple singing between Pav and basically anyone else, as if some of these pop singers subject themselves to exposure by singing with someone like Pavarotti. But I shake that off, and begin with this arrangement of “Hero” with Mariah Carey.

Mariah isn’t concerned about her technique not standing up to Pav’s; she’s too busy enjoying her little touches of backup during his solo:

When two singers whom you already love do a duet together, they really can do no wrong. So here’s Pavarotti and Frank Sinatra, singing “My Way”. The song actually lets Pavarotti sing, even in English (but I of course find his Italian accent charming: “I deed eeta maaaiiiiiia waaaayyya!”), and I think it’s one of the best duet pairings in the whole P&F canon.

This one is totally weird; you can see that Pavarotti thinks James Brown is a lunatic, and it’s hilarious. The song, however, is kind of infectious.

Lastly, this gem with Pavarotti and Céline Dion, “I love you and then I hate you”. Take or leave Céline, but she holds her ground as a duet partner with Pav; she’s even into the song, not just letting it survive on Pavarotti’s presence alone. Pretty impressive, and I’m not even into Céline.

What are your favourite duets from Pavarotti & Friends? Share them in the comments below!

Related Content


Unlike other sites, we're keeping Schmopera ad-free. We want to keep our site clean and our opinions our own. Support us for as little as $1.00 per month.