Mourners bid farewell to Pavarotti

Thousands of mourners filed past the open coffin of Luciano Pavarotti in the cathedral of his Italian hometown on Friday, bidding farewell to the tenor whose death prompted emotional tributes from around the world.

Mourners bid farewell to Pavarotti
Thousands of mourners filed past the open coffin of Luciano Pavarotti in the cathedral of his Italian hometown on Friday, bidding farewell to the tenor whose death prompted emotional tributes from around the world.

The doors of Modena's ancient cathedral opened at dawn to let fans get a last look at Pavarotti before his funeral on Saturday.

The rotund, bearded opera star, who died on Thursday at the age of 71, was dressed in a black tuxedo, hands folded on his stomach and holding a white handkerchief -- a favorite prop during his recitals -- and a rosary.

Wreaths of flowers stood at the head of the coffin.

"He brought to the world everything that is good about this town: simplicity, honesty and happiness," said Luigi Febbrano, a 51-year-old court clerk waiting outside the 12th-century church.

Pavarotti, one of the finest tenors of his generation who did more than any other singer to bring opera to the masses, died after a long fight with pancreatic cancer.

Condolences flooded in from around the world, with leaders such as U.S. President George W. Bush and Russia's Vladimir Putin joining opera singers Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras in praising the voice and the man.

"The world at your feet," read the headline in a local paper in Modena, the town where Pavarotti was born into a humble family -- his father a baker, his mother a cigar factory worker -- and which he never forgot despite his stardom.

Pavarotti spent his final days in his villa near Modena, where he also owned a restaurant and gave lessons at the local music school even in the final months of his illness.

Reuters
Last Mod: 07 Eylül 2007, 19:12
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