Luciano Pavarotti made history on February 24, 1988. He played the part of Nemorino in Gaetano Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’amore” at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Germany. At the conclusion of the performance, he took a curtain call, thinking he was done for the evening. Much to his surprise, his night was far from over. Over the next one hour and 7 minutes, Pavarotti made 165 curtain calls. For this, Guinness World Records recognizes him for “Most Curtain Calls.”
He does not, however, hold the record for receiving the longest applause. Another tenor, Placido Domingo, received a one hour and 20 minute ovation over 101 curtain calls on June 30, 1991. This took place after his performance of the Verdi opera Otello at the Vienna State Opera.
If you consult Guinness World Records, however, the entry for “Longest Applause” goes to Clark Stevens and the Festival of Awesomeness. On July 20, 2019, Stevens and 72 others applauded nonstop for two hours and five minutes to raise awareness of mental health and the importance of encouraging one another.