Pavarotti (12A)***

Dir: Ron Howard

With: Nicoletta Mantovani, Placido Domingo, Harvey Goldsmith, Bono

Runtime: 114 minutes

RON Howard’s documentary about the late, great tenor begins with Pavarotti making his way up the Amazon to sing on the stage where Caruso had appeared a century before. The trip was typical in a life, as Howard shows, that hardly wanted for grandiose acts.

Howard traces the tenor’s story from near starvation in wartime Italy through to touring with his father, also a tenor (he was better, according to Luciano), his rise to prominence through criss-crossing America, and on to the Italia 90, Nessun Dorma, Three Tenors phase of his life when he was the most famous performer in the world. It is done respectfully and lovingly, with the occasional criticism that he could be demanding. Most revealing of all in getting a sense of the man are the interviews with his first and second wives and his daughters. The finale is given over to a performance of Nessun Dorma in which there are tears aplenty, including Luciano’s.