In March 1964 he makes his début at Teatro Costanzo in Rome in Boris Godunov, with Boris Christoff in the title role, conductor Lovro von Matacic.
Afterwards in Rome he sings in:
- Tosca (December 1964) with Regine Crespin and Tito Gobbi
- Eugène Onieghin (January 1965) with Virginia Zeani, Nicola Rossi Lemeni, Plinio Cabassi, with Lorin Maazel as producer and conductor.
In March 1964 he makes his début in Palermo in Tosca with Oriana Santunione.
Afterwards in the same theatre:
- Lohengrin (April 1966) with Virginia Zeani, Aldo Protti and Nicola Rossi Lemeni
- Adriana Lecouvreur (January 1966) with Antonietta Stella, conductor Nino Sanzogno, , director Mauro Bolognini, for the centenary of the same opera in Palermo.
In April 1965 he makes his début at Teatro alla Scala in Mosè by Rossini, Nicolai Ghiaurov in the title role.
In this opera Franco Tagliavini learns the role of Amenofi in five days , after the renunciation by Gianni Raimondi.
Eugenio Montale, the poet , writes in his review of Mosè: “ As Raimondi was unwell, on Saturday his substitute appeared, Franco Tagliavini, who, being destined for a different role, has had to learn the new one , almost prohibitive, in a few days. He has first rate qualities and has well deserved his success.
At Teatro alla Scala he also sings:
- Olimpia by Spontini (June 1966) nwith Pilar Lorengar, Fiorenza Cossotto, Giangiacomo Guelfi, conductor Molinari Pradelli
- Madame Sans Gene (February 1967) with Oriana Santunione, Mario Zanasi, conductor Gianandrea Gavazzeni
- Requiem by Verdi (spring 1973) in the Church of San Marco in Milan.
In 1974 he takes part in the tournée of Teatro alla Scala at Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow with Simon Boccanegra. Then Macbeth (December 1975) with Piero Cappuccilli, Shirley Verrett, conductor Claudio Abbado.
In May 1967 he opens the Maggio Fiorentino in the opera Maria Stuarda by Donizetti, with Leila Gengeir, Shirley Verrett, conductor Molinari Pradelli, producer Giorgio De Lullo.
In 1970, in this Theatre, he sings La vestale by Spontini, protagonist Renata Scotto, conductor Vittorio Gui.
In May 1975, Macbeth, with Guinneth Jones, conductor Riccardo Muti.
In February 1968, at Teatro della Fenice in Venice, he sings in Mosè by Rossini, with Ruggero Raimondi and Silvano Caroli, conductor Molinari Pradelli.
In 1977, again at Teatro della Fenice, he sings in I due Foscari, with Renato Bruson, conductor Bartoletti
In May 1968, he sings in Mefistofele in Turin.
In January 1970, he sings in Bologna in Mosè, with Carlo Cava and Silvano Caroli, and here he later sings Lohengrin in the centenary of the première of this opera in Bologna; his partners were Rita Orlandi Malaspina, Giangiacomo Guelfi, conductor Molinari Pradelli. Franco Tagliavini was the last of the Italian tenors to interpret this role in Italian, after the various Gigli, Pertile and so on.
In January 1971 he again sings Tosca with Raina Kabaivanska, in the theatres of Emilia Romagna (Modena, Reggio Emilia, Ferrara).The audience, delighted, notice the couple’s beautiful stage presence, and their common school of ‘bel canto’.
In January 1977 he makes his début in Trieste in Adriana Lecouvreur, again with Raina Kabaivanska and in the same theatre he sings:
- Luisa Miller /(April 1978) with Katia Ricciarelli and Leo Nucci, conductor Olivero De Fabritis
- Tosca (November 1978) with Raina Kabaivanska and baritone Kari Nurmela, conductor Maurizio Arena
- Francesca da Rimini (December 1981) with Raina Kabaivanska, Felice Schiavi, conductor Maurizio Arena
In April 1979 he sings Adriana Lecouvreur at Filarmonico in Verona again with Raina Kabaivanska and conductor Muller.
In April 1980, in this same theatre he sings Francesca da Rimini, with Raina Kabaivanska, Felice Schiavi , conductor Maurizio Arena
In the summer of the same year he sings Carmen and Gioconda at Arena in Verona.
Moreover, Franco Tagliavini performed in other Italian Theatres : Bari ( Tosca with Oriana Santunione), Catania (Tosca many years after his début in this town), Naples (Tosca, Lohengrin, with Oriana Santunione and Renato Bruson).
His international début takes place in the USA, in San Francisco and Los Angeles in October 1964 in the opera Turandot with Birgit Nilsson, then he goes on singing in Nabucco, with Tito Gobbi protagonist. Tito Gobbi points him out to producer Sander Gorlinsky, with whom he will work during all his career.
In September 1965 he makes his début at Deutsche Oper in Berlin in Traviata with Pilar Lorengar, Dietrich Fisher Diskau, with Lorin Maazel as conductor.
In September 1966 he takes part in the Tournée of Deutsche Oper in Tokyo with Traviata.
For 20 years he sings his repertoire in Berlin at Deutsche Oper :
- Madame Butterfly
- Simon Boccanegra
And others …
Besides he stage manages the following operas:
- Tosca (April 1969) with Pilar Lorengar, Imgar Wixel, conductor Lorin Maazel, , scenography by San Just, director Barlog
- Attila (June 1971) with Van Dam, Gundula Janowitz, conductor Patanè.
- Cavalleria Rusticana (April 1972) with Giangiacomo Guelfi and Marina Krilovic, conductor Patanè
- Gioconda (March 1974), with Leonie Rysanek, conductor Patanè.
In the same theatre he also performs in the following operas:
- Don Carlo (September 1972)
- Carmen (November 1979)
- Manon Lescaut (March 1985)
In Germany, besides Berlin, he performed in Munich, Mannheim, Bonn, Kassel, Mainz, Bremen , Dusseldorf.
In November 1965, he made his debut in Dallas in Tosca, with Renata Tebaldi, Giuseppe Taddei.
Later in Dallas he sang:
- Bohème (1966)
- Anna Bolena (November 1968) with Elena Suliotis.
In December 1967 he performed in Covent Garden in London in Norma with Joan Sutherland, Marylin Horne, conductor Richard Bonynge.
He came back to that theatre with:
- Tosca (March 1968), with Sena Jurinac
- Rigoletto (December 1968), Peter Glossop in the title role.
- Macbeth ( November 1976)
In November 1969 he made his début at Chicago Lyric Opera with Cavalleria Rusticana, with Fiorenza Cossotto and Giangiacomo Guelfi, conductor Bartoletti.
Later in that town he sang :
- Turandot (1970) with Birgit Nilsson, conductor Antonino Viotto
- Madame Butterfly (1970)
- I Due Foscari (September1972) with Katia Ricciarelli, Piero Cappuccilli, conductor Bartoletti.
- Ballo in maschera (November 1972) with Martina Arroyo, Sherrill Milnes, director Tito Gobbi.
- Traviata with Cesarina Casapietra, conductor Maurizio Arena
- Maria Stuarda (September 1973) with Monserrat Caballè, Viorica Cortez, conductor Bartoletti.
- Tosca (February 1974) with Tito Gobbi, Teresa Kubiak, conductor Bartoletti.
In March 1970, he made his début at New York Metropolitan, in Norma, with Joan Sutherland, Marylin Horne, Bonaldo Giaiotti, conductor Richard Bonynge. He was confirmed for a radio recording of that opera in September 1970. Later in that theatre he sang:
- Tosca (1972)
- Macbeth (January 1973), with Martina Arroyo, Sherrill Milnes
- Vespri Siciliani (April 1974)
- Cavalleria Rusticana September 1974), with Grace Bumbry.
Besides, in the USA he sang in San Diego in Lucia di Lammermoor, in Huston in Tosca, with Marye Collier.
In December 1981 he sang in Luisa Miller in Zurich, with Eugenia Moldoveanu, Bonaldo Giaiotti, conductor Santini.