HOLLYWOOD (KABC) -- Director Ron Howard is behind a new documentary on a singer who had one of the world's most powerful voices. We lost Luciano Pavarotti in 2007, but the filmmaker found a story he wanted to tell about a musical genius who loved life.
Howard is no stranger to the documentary world, having made prior films focusing on The Beatles and Jay-Z. So, why Pavarotti?
"Curiosity. Fascination," said Howard. "I didn't know that much about 'Apollo 13' before I got involved, or anything about John Nash's life before 'A Beautiful Mind.' So I think I've learned I really like delving into true stories. So there's the music and him as an artist and his career. And that's great. But what's really relatable and powerful is sort of the direction his life took."
Howard looks at the singer's life from his impoverished childhood in post-war Italy, to his young adult years: he was once an elementary school teacher. And then the music icon he would become. Bumps and regrets and a surprise or two are also part of his story.
"He lived life in this joie de vivre, right?" said Howard. "I mean, he just lived-- he lived these passions. Whether it was the relationship, the work, food, horses and then ultimately, the philanthropy."
Pavarotti would get major names involved with his famous PBS fundraising concerts.
"I think he really wanted to support children in war-torn circumstances because he just completely related to it," said Howard.
Howard says they went to great pains to make the music rich, and the viewing experience exciting.
"I don't have to be listening to opera anymore. I've finished this project," said Howard. "There was a period where it was research to me. And now I've got it on in the car and in the morning all the time. It's beautiful."
Ron Howard hits the right notes in new documentary on opera star Luciano Pavarotti
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