When world-renowned superstar Luciano Pavarotti died six years ago, the Italian left a pair of very big shoes to fill – but one Sheffield lad is ensuring his legacy lives on.
Talented tenor Carl Taylor, of Handsworth, has just been named the UK’s number one tribute to the late star by the Agents Association of Britain.
The 36-year-old began training in opera under well-known Sheffield vocal coach Pius Hume in 2000, but it was the death of the supremo which inspired him to launch his act.
Growing up on the Gleadless Valley estate might be a world away from the countryside of Modena in northern Italy – but one thing Carl and his hero have in common is a passion for making the world of opera more accessible.
Carl said: “In my sets I include a lot of the poppy numbers Pavarotti did.
“Opera doesn’t have to be stuffy. I put a bit of humour in too and do my Italian accent.”
To make his act as authentic as possible Carl sports a wig, blacks up his beard and wears a padded suit.
“I am a big guy but I’m not as big as he was,” he said.
His work takes him to private functions across the UK and he has even been called upon to perform in Rome. A further stamp of approval came with a recent booking at the 21st birthday of a girl from a huge Italian family.
Carl said: “It was weird that me, a Yorkshire lad, was singing Pavarotti to a room full of people from Italy but they loved it.”