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Thursday, 20 April, 2000, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
Pavarotti's anniversary date
Luciano Pavarotti
Pavarotti set off on the road to international fame in New York
Star tenor Luciano Pavarotti will celebrate his 40th performing season at Madison Square Garden in New York - the city where his international career began.

I grew up in Italy but I came here and a lot of my career was made in New York, so I have a very, very particular feeling for this city

Luciano Pavarotti

The 64-year-old Italian singer - who first caught the world's attention after a roof-raising concert in New York - announced the 14 September concert on a visit to the City Hall.

"New York is the city with the most important theatre for a singer in the entire world," Pavarotti said.

"I grew up in Italy but I came here and a lot of my career was made in New York, so I have a very, very particular feeling for this city."

Pavarotti - arguably the biggest name in opera - set off on the road to world stardom after the now-celebrated performance at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1972.

In 1993, he gave a free concert in New York's Central Park that was attended by 500,000 people.

Rudolph Giuliani
Giuliani is an opera buff

New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani - an opera-lover himself - said: "People in New York City have a special fondness and attachment to Luciano because of his many, many performances at the Metropolitan Opera and Central Park."

Pavarotti is currently touring the US and preparing for his annual charity concert, Pavarotti and Friends, in his home town of Modena, Italy, on 6 June.

Wide appeal

Meanwhile, tickets for Pavarotti's sole UK appearance this year - in Newcastle - have become hot property since they went on sale earlier this week.

The concert at the Telewest Arena on 26 September nearly happened 18 months ago, but Pavarotti decided to perform in Manchester instead.

Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo
Pavarotti and Domingo in World Cup year 1998

The arena's executive director, Colin Revel, recently said it had always been an ambition to present Pavarotti at Newcastle Telewest Arena.

The singer's photograph had even been included in the promotional literature when the venue was first being planned.

Pavarotti, who will be 65 on 12 October, became a household name when his rendition of Nessun Dorma was used as the soundtrack for TV coverage of the World Cup in 1990, which was held in Italy.

His fame in the UK was further boosted by an open air concert in London's Hyde Park in the presence of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Internationally, his Three Tenors performances with Spanish stars Jose Carréras and Placido Domingo are also regarded as highlights of the opera world.

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