Was just reading about how he was going in and out of consciousness this morning because of suspected kidney problems and now, I just got news that he’s passed on. 🙁 I think he’s one of the most musically inspirational person that I have ever heard and known and it’s really a great loss that he moved on even before his farewell concert. 🙁

ROME – LUCIANO Pavarotti, whose vibrant high C’s and ebullient showmanship made him one the most beloved tenors, has died, his manager said. He was 71.

Pavarotti was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and underwent further treatment in August 2007. His manager, Terri Robson, said in an e-mail statement that Pavarotti died at his home in Modena, Italy, at 5am on Thursday.

‘The Maestro fought a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer which eventually took his life. In fitting with the approach that characterised his life and work, he remained positive until finally succumbing to the last stages of his illness,’ the statement said.

Pavarotti

‘The Maestro fought a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer which eventually took his life,’ the statement said. — PHOTO: AFP

Son of a baker
Born on Oct 12, 1935 in the quiet northern Italian town of Modena, Luciano Pavarotti was the only son of a baker whose love of opera and own modest singing gift were an important factor in determining the boy’s future career.

After six years’ studying while working as a teacher, he won first prize in a competition in 1961 and was rewarded with the role of Rodolphe in Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’ in nearby Reggio Emilia.

From such modest beginnings, his reputation began to grow and by 1963 he was singing in Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich and London.

His American debut came in February 1965 in a production of Donizetti’s ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ in Miami, Florida, with Joan Sutherland as Lucia.

Come of age
It was with Sutherland in February 1972 that he truly came of age, taking Covent Garden and the New York Metropolitan Opera by storm with a sparkling production of another Donizetti favourite, ‘La Fille du Regiment’.

Pavarotti hit nine effortless top notes in the first aria, a feat which saw the audience erupt in a standing ovation and also earned him the epithet ‘King of the high C’s’.

Despite his success, he never fully learned to read music, preferring to memorise his roles. As a result he mastered only one at a time, leaving him with a surprisingly limited repertoire for a singer of his stature.

He also managed to shock purists with his appearances in live concerts, sometimes alongside pop musicians. In 1991 a crowd of 150,000, including the Prince and Princess of Wales, braved the rain and cold in London’s Hyde Park to hear him sing.

The previous year Pavarotti had hit an even wider audience, when his performance of the aria ‘Nessun Dorma”, from Puccini’s ‘Turandot,’ was chosen as the theme music for the 1990 Football World Cup, hosted by his native Italy.

‘Three Tenors’
Among his best-known initiatives in his later years were his appearances with two other leading singers, Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo, as the ‘Three Tenors”, and the annual ‘Pavarotti and Friends’ concerts in his home town of Modena.

The events saw him performing with rock stars from Elton John and Eric Clapton to Zucchero and even the Spice Girls, to raise money for children in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Second marriage
Pavarotti’s success also attracted the attention of the society columns. In 1996 he left his wife Adua after 35 years of marriage and three grown-up daughters for his secretary Nicoletta Mantovani, whom he married in 2003, and with whom he had one child.

The singer’s weight caused him increasing health problems in his later years, and he also ran into trouble with the Italian tax authorities, with whom he reportedly reached a settlement for the payment of arrears amounting to millions of euros. — AP, AFP



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