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Larger-than-life Luciano Pavarotti is the subject of Ron Howard's latest documentary / Detroit Free Press

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With a smile and sense of playfulness as vibrant as his high C notes, Luciano Pavarotti was a superstar who brought opera to the masses. The maestro defied the unwritten rules for serious artists by performing in huge arenas, sharing the stage with pop stars like Bono, doing a TV ad for American Express and even starring in a movie, 1982 's "Yes, Giorgio," where he fell in love with his throat doctor. The larger-than-life personality of the great Italian tenor is the subject of director Ron Howard's latest documentary, "Pavarotti," which traces his life from his childhood in Modena, Italy, to his death at 71 in 2007. It opens Friday in metro Detroit.

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