Larry Rivellese – with a little help from Villages-News.com — will make his network television debut with Steve Harvey on June 21.
The Villager with a passion for opera and softball will appear on the debut show of “Forever Young,” Wednesday at 8 p.m. on NBC-TV. It is hosted by Steve Harvey and produced by Ellen DeGeneres. Rivellese will sing “Nessun Dorma.”
Here is a video of him singing the number in The Villages:
The show contacted Villages-News.com last year after a story and video of Rivellese singing appeared on Villages-News.com. The feature story detailed his love of softball and his booming tenor voice.
Rivellese spent four days in April, filming his segment on the show in Los Angeles. NBC also sent a film crew to The Villages. They filmed Rivellese playing softball, singing songs, mowing his lawn and working on the water pipes in his bathroom.
Rivellese – who worked as a plumber back in New York — sat down for an interview with Steve Harvey during the show.
“I’m so excited; this means a lot to me,” Rivellese, who has lived in The Villages for nearly 14 years, previously told Villages-News.com. “They were very enthusiastic about me appearing on the show. They spent a couple of days preparing, and then filmed the show.”
While he visited Los Angeles, NBC supplied Rivellese with a wardrobe, music director and make-up. The network even gave him a haircut.
“I told the guy, ‘I hope you don’t give me the same haircut as Steve Harvey; I don’t want to be bald.’” Rivellese said.
Steve Harvey couldn’t quite believe the power in Rivellese’s operatic vocals. “They heard me sing on video and asked how old I was,” he said. “I told them 71. They said, ‘You can’t be that old and sing like that.’ I said, oh yes I can.”
During the show, Rivellese sang “Nessun Dorma.”
Harvey, who was unaware that Rivellese was a serious opera singer, was impressed and praised Rivellese.
“It was great,” Rivellese said.