A collection of rare Pavarotti duets with the likes of Sting, Bono and James Brown are to be released for the first time.
Six previously-unreleased live performances by the late Italian tenor with some of the world’s leading pop and rock stars will appear as bonus material on two new releases to coincide with Ron Howard’s new documentary film about the opera star, in cinemas next month.
The duets are from the Pavarotti And Friends benefit concerts, held in his hometown of Modena, Italy, between 1992 and 2003, and include his performance of Schubert’s Ave Maria with U2 star Bono.
With Brown, Pavarotti sang It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World, and with Sting he performed When We Dance.
The other collaborations being released are Perfect Day with Lou Reed, Too Much Love Will Kill You with Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor, and You’re The First, My Last, My Everything with Barry White.
The concerts were held to raise money for humanitarian groups including War Child at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Another track being made available for the first time is Miserere, co-written by Italian rock star Zucchero and Bono and performed by Pavarotti and Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli.
According to record label Decca, which is releasing the tracks, Pavarotti’s musical collaborations with stars of the pop, rock and soul worlds helped to “open up the world of opera to a wider audience”.
Rebecca Allen, president of Decca Records, said: “These duets are a wonderful reminder of Pavarotti’s humanitarian side.
“He used his fame and art to help benefit people, and was able to bring the most brilliant and like-minded singers together for a good cause.
“This is a central theme to the powerful Ron Howard film, and perhaps one that is forgotten – as his voice was so big and his operatic performances legendary – so it is fitting to share these hidden gems with the world at last.”
Howard’s film, released on July 15, includes never-before-seen footage, history-making performances and intimate interviews about Pavarotti, who died in 2007 at the age of 71.
Ave Maria with Bono and Miserere with Bocelli will appear on the film’s official soundtrack, Music From The Motion Picture: Pavarotti.
The other five tracks will appear on the film’s companion three-CD set Pavarotti: The Greatest Hits.