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The year is 1964, only three years after his professional debut in a regional Italian opera house, where he played the lead, Rodolfo, in a production of La Boheme. It was also a year after his first major accomplishment, supporting and singing with Joan Sutherland on an Australian tour. He was yet to have an American premiere, and was still trying to make a name for himself.
This above clip, a jaunty and confident take on Verdi's "La Donna e Mobile" from Rigoletto, shows all the youthful promise in his 29-year-old voice.
How lucky were we to have this incredible instrument on the planet for so many decades after this performance.
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