Italian opera star Luciano Pavarotti died early Thursday at the age of 71 in Modena, Italy, the Italy news agency ANSA reported. (Share your thoughts and condolences)
Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti performs during part of his round-the-world farewell tour concerts in Capital Gymnasium of Beijing, China December 10, 2005. [File Photo]
"The great tenor Luciano Pavarotti died today at 5 AM at his home in Modena," his manager Terri Robson said in a statement.
"The Maestro fought a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer which eventually took his life. In fitting with the approach that characterized his life and work, he remained positive until finally succumbing to the last stages of his illness."
Pavarotti, hailed as the greatest tenor of his generation, underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer last year and had been staying at his villa in Modena in north-central Italy.
Pavarotti had been preparing to leave New York in July 2006 to resume a farewell tour when doctors discovered a malignant pancreatic mass. He received surgery in a New York hospital, and was forced to cancel his remaining 2006 concerts.
Pavarotti gave his last performance at the New York Metropolitan Opera on March 13, 2004.
In February 2006, at the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Turin, he brought the house down with his trademark Nessun Dorma aria.
Born into an ordinary family in 1935, Pavarotti showed his gift ever since he was a child. In 1955, he went to receive professional voice training and won his first prize in 1961. In 1972, he was baptized "King of Hi-C" for his marvelous talent for hitting the high notes.
(Xinhua News Agency September 6, 2007)