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 Fans worldwide pay tribute to Pavarotti

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PostSubject: Fans worldwide pay tribute to Pavarotti   Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:06 am

Fans worldwide pay tribute to Pavarotti
By ARIEL DAVID, Associated Press Writer
Thu Sep 6, 11:39 AM ET

ROME - Friends and admirers of Luciano Pavarotti joined in a chorus of grief as the world paid homage to the thrilling voice and exuberant personality of the great Italian tenor.

Amid an outpouring of tributes, the Vienna State Opera raised a black flag in mourning and his northern Italian hometown of Modena said it would name the city's theater after its native son.

Newscasts and Web sites across the globe led with news of his death Thursday at age 71. President Bush expressed condolences to the Pavarotti family and hailed his "perfect pitch and charismatic interpretations." Radio stations aired his unmistakable recordings in tribute to his memory.

"The whole world will be listening today to his voice on every radio and television station. And that will continue. And that is his legacy. He will never stop," said conductor Zubin Mehta, who directed some of his "Three Tenors" concerts with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.

Said Carreras, who was traveling in Europe: "We all hoped for a miracle ... but unfortunately that was not possible, and now we have to regret that we lost a wonderful singer and a great man."

Domingo, in a statement from Los Angeles, said Pavarotti's voice had an "unmistakable special timbre from the bottom up to the very top of the tenor range."

"They threw away the mold when they made Luciano," Domingo said.

Opera great Mirella Freni, who had been one of Pavarotti's close childhood friends in Modena, told The Associated Press: "The world has lost a great tenor, but I've lost a great friend, a brother."

For fans and colleagues, the beauty of Pavarotti's voice made him the ideal interpreter of the Italian lyric repertory, especially as a rising star in the 1960s and '70s.

"The quality of the sound was so different. You knew immediately it was Luciano singing," said soprano Joan Sutherland, whose work with Pavarotti in the 1960s helped launch his international fame.

Soprano Renee Fleming, preparing for a performance in Matsumoto, Japan, remembered singing with Pavarotti during a telecast at New York's Lincoln Center.

"He had the most perfect technique in the history of recorded music," she said in an e-mail to the AP.

Metropolitan Opera music director James Levine, who had collaborated with Pavarotti since 1973, said he "will never forget the sheer magic of that voice, but I will also remember the warm, generous, and exuberant spirit of the man."

The Royal Opera House in London said in a statement that Pavarotti was "one of those rare artists who affected the lives of people across the globe in all walks of life.

"Through his countless broadcasts, recordings and concerts he introduced the extraordinary power of opera to people who perhaps would never have encountered opera and classical singing, in doing so he enriched their lives."

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