After the opening-night performance on December 20, Pavarotti declared the production a qualified success. "Considering the short time we had for rehearsals and the difficulties that appear more numerous for a mature beginner like me, I can say that the occasion this evening deserves eight out of ten," he said.
"I am very happy, and most elements‹apart from perhaps 10 percent‹went as I had hoped," he added. "If I could go back, I would have been able to correct some small details that perhaps escaped my notice during rehearsals."
Pavarotti made his professional debut as Rodolfo in La bohme in 1961. He performed in his last opera last year and is currently in the midst of a worldwide farewell concert tour.