Being Pavarotti

About This Episode


Elton is a boy of 13 who sings opera in Hermanus, a small seaside town in the Western Cape province of South Africa, popular with tourists for whale sightings. His love of opera music begins after his cousin gives him a tape by Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. His passion leads Elton from performing solo stints at open-air festivals to opening acts for established opera singers from nearby Cape Town.

Elton’s quest to become an acclaimed opera singer is set against the backdrop of his life as a young teenager. He and his opera-singing friends are harassed by authorities and beaten by police, who prefer to retain foreign tourists at the expense of local black buskers.