ROME - Luciano Pavarotti, whose vibrant high C's and ebullient showmanship made him one the most beloved tenors, has died, his manager told The Associated Press. He was 71.
Pavarotti had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and underwent further treatment in August 2007. His manager, Terri Robson, told the AP in an e-mail statement that Pavarotti died at his home in Modena, Italy, at 5 a.m. local time.
“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.
For serious fans, the unforced beauty and thrilling urgency of Pavarotti’s voice made him the ideal interpreter of the Italian lyric repertory, especially in the 1960s and ’70s when he first achieved stardom. For millions more, his charismatic performances of standards like “Nessun dorma” from Puccini’s “Turandot” came to represent what opera is all about.
Instantly recognizable from his charcoal black beard and tuxedo-busting girth, Pavarotti radiated an intangible magic that helped him win hearts in a way Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras — his partners in the “Three Tenors” concerts — never quite could.
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