Italian opera star Luciano Pavarotti dies at 71

Italian opera star Luciano Pavarotti, hailed by many as the greatest tenor of his generation, died early on Thursday after a long battle with cancer, his manager Terri Robson said.

Italian opera star Luciano Pavarotti dies at 71
The great tenor Luciano Pavarotti died today at 5 a.m. at his home in Modena," Robson said in a statement. He was 71.

"The Maestro fought a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer which eventually took his life.

"In fitting with the approach that characterized his life and work, he remained positive until finally succumbing to the last stages of his illness."

The rotund, black-bearded tenor known as "Big Luciano" helped bring opera to the masses and performed to vast stadium audiences round the world.

He shot to fame with a stand-in appearance at London's Covent Garden in 1963 and had soon had critics gushing about his voluminous voice.

His last public singing performance was at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Turin in February 2006.
In July last year, Pavarotti underwent surgery in New York for pancreatic cancer and retreated to his villa in Modena. He had to cancel his first planned public reappearance a few months later.

Pavarotti was taken to a hospital in Modena last month and treated for more than two weeks. He was released on August 25, and spent his final hours at home with family and friends nearby, the statement said.

A Modena television station reported on Wednesday that Pavarotti had lost consciousness and suffered kidney failure towards the end of his life.

Perhaps Pavarotti's biggest gift to the music world was when he joined forces with Spanish stars Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras at the 1990 soccer World Cup and introduced operatic classics to an estimated 800 million people around the globe.

Last Mod: 06 Eylül 2007, 10:56
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