Rebecca Helm-Ropelato
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Thursday, September 6, 2007
A Final Ciao To Pavarotti
Pavarotti at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, his final performance
Good-bye to Pavarotti, an Italian legend “Remember me as an opera singer”
Pavarotti, the world loses his voice
Maestro Pavarotti is dead
Luciano Pavarotti is dead
The world cries for Luciano Pavarotti
The front pages of Italian newspapers are dominated today by headlines of mourning, these above translated from some of the country's largest daily publications, respectively La Repubblica, Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, Il Messaggero, and Il Sole 24 Ore (online editions).

What they said in Rome
As recounted in La Repubblica, the legendary tenor died early this morning in his villa south of Modena. The city is in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. Pavarotti, 71, underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer last year. In early August of this year, his condition worsened and he was hospitalized. He had returned home on August 25, according to the newspaper.
The final appearance of Big Luciano, as he was affectionately called along with the more elegant and equally popular Maestro, was in Turin in February 2006 at the Winter Olympics (see video above), the article continued. His last concert was in Taipei in December 2005.
A second report in La Repubblica offers a brief bio of Pavarotti and recaps some of the highlights of his tremendously successful career. He was born in Modena on October 12, 1935, and studied to be an elementary school teacher, according to the article. As a child, however, Pavarotti had dreamed of a career as an opera tenor. His first singing performances were in a choral group with his father.
Pavarotti lends a hand to Italian rock star Jovanotti and his Serenata Rap (Rap Serenade)
The article also described Pavarotti's musical collaborations (criticized by “purists”) late in his career with major international names in rock and pop music. Most notable was Pavarotti & Friends, a series of charity concerts he staged in his hometown of Modena. He also performed to record breaking numbers of fans at open air concerts in New York, Paris and London. According to the article, his recordings and videos outsold those of Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones.
A friend remembers in Milan
In Corriere della Sera today is a special report by journalist Ettore Mo. Mo, a longtime friend of Pavarotti, was granted an interview with him last August at his home where the tenor was recuperating from surgery. Pavarotti spoke openly about his illness, his life and his career.
“In life I have had everything, really everything,” he said in the interview. “If it's all taken away from me, I will be even with God.”
At another point, Pavarotti said, “Now I only need the help of God and it seems to me that God is giving it to me.”
In a kind of summing up of his present perspective, Pavarotti said to Mo, “I was a fortunate man and happy for 65 years. Then came this battering. And now I am paying the penalty for that luck and happiness. But I find comfort from my childhood, that was poor and happy, and I'm seeing things with serenity.”
by Rebecca Helm-Ropelato