Luciano Pavarotti passed away at dawn this morning, in his villa in Modena.
The Tenor, aged, 71 was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and has undergone surgery. However, a month ago events took a turn for the worse and on the 8th of August he was back in hospital for further treatment complicated by a lung infection. He left the hospital on the 25th of August to return home, where he was cared for by his family and the medics of the oncology department of the hospital of Modena.
The funerals of the Tenor will be held on Saturday in the Duomo of Modena.
"The Maestro - a note from his agent Terri Robson says - fought a long and hard battle against cancer to the pancreas and in the end it has cost him his life. In keeping with the style that has characterised his life and his work he was positive until the very last moment". Pavarotti passed away with his wife Nicoletta, and daughters Lorenza, Cristine, Giuliana and Alice by his side.
The last public appearance of Big Luciano was Il Nessun Dorma such at the opening ceremony of the winter Olympics in Torino, in February of last year. His last concert was in Taipei in December 2005. He has had a long and extremely successful career, but he has also faced criticism in the last years of his career because of this insistence to interpret his favorite roles, despite his age and a voice that did not match that magnificent voice of his best years.
Pavarotti, in a kind of spiritual testament recently published on his website said: "I hope to be remembered as an opera signer, as a representative of a form of art that has found its best expression in my country, and I hope that the love for opera remains forever of central importance in my life."
"Luckily life presents us with a variety of different moments, and like all my great predecessors, including the great Caruso, I love musical diversity of pieces written for a tenor's voice. The tenor's repertoire is the most varied of all. In any language, and in comparison to other genre, it contains the widest gamut of emotions"
The mayor of Modena, has announced that he will put forth the proposal to name the city's Theatre in Pavarotti's name. Two days ago the Culture Minister Rutelli, awarded Pavarotti the Premio per l'Eccellenza nella cultura.
Pavarotti's career spans 40 years with his debut on the 29th of April 1961 as Rodolfo in La Boheme, in the Opera of Reggio Emilia. A few years later he triumphed in the USA in February 1965, in Miami, with Joan Sutherland, in Lucia di Lammermoor. But the real breakthrough arrived on the 17th of February 1972, at the Metropolitan of New York where in the La fille du régiment di Donizetti he stunned everyone with nine perfect Do. Also his is the record of 17 standing ovations.
To the general public he was best knows for his concerts "Three Tenors" , and for his collaborations with pop starts. In London's Hyde Park Pavarotti's concert attracted more than 150000 people, including the Prince of Wales and Princess Diana. Princess Diana was also a guest at Pavarotti's concert in Modena, "Pavarotti and friends". He has sung from more than half a million people in Central Park, New York while under the Eiffel Tower of Paris more than 300 000 people came out to see him. He has raised millions for charity through his concerts and brought millions of people closer to the world of Opera.