The King and I

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Author: Herbert Breslin; Anne Midgette
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In 1967, Luciano Pavarotti was an up-and-coming young tenor with a voice far more impressive than his stage technique or presence. So Decca, his record company, told him, 'Luciano, you're a real nice guy. So you need a real bastard to do your publicity.' Enter Herbert Breslin. The two of them hit it off right away and thus began a professional association and a friendship that lasted over 36 years.The King and I is the story of that relationship, during which Breslin guided what he calls, justifiably, 'the greatest career in classical music', moving Pavarotti out of the opera house and onto the concert (and world) stage, and into the arms of a huge mass public. How he and Pavarotti changed the landscape of opera is one of the most significant and entertaining stories in the history of classical music. Herbert Breslin relates this story in a candid, take-no-prisoners, witty fashion that is often hysterically frank and profane. Read about how Pavarotti transported a whole restaurant to China as he was worried that he wouldn't like the food, and learn about the succession of 'secretaries' which eventually led to the breakdown of his first marriage. He also provides a portrait of his friend and client - 'the story of a beautiful, simple, lovely guy who turned into a very determined, aggressive and somewhat unhappy superstar' - that is affectionate and satirical by turns and full of hilarious details that could only come from a true insider. The book is also enlivened by the voices of other players in the soap-opera drama that was Pavarotti's career, and they are no less uncensored than Herbert Breslin. The last word, in fact, comes from none other than Luciano Pavarotti himself.
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