He habitually went onstage with a bent nail, pilfered from the backstage scenery, in his pocketa traditional good-luck charm for Italian singers. He didn't need it. No tenor of the modern era faced down high Cs and even D flats and Ds more ruthlessly and with such glorious results. A man of vast appetites, the former teacher and insurance agent (and would-be soccer goalie) from Modena was the biggest star in opera. He brought it out of the opera houses to millions who otherwise would never have heard it.