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Tributes pour in for Pavarotti

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Italian opera legend Luciano Pavarotti was at ease despite knowing that he was close to death. In his last ever interview, with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the tenor admitted that he was indebted to God for blessing him with a "happy and fortunate" life, even during the final days of his fight with cancer.

Pavarotti said that he was calm and composed during his last days because he knew that it was "God's way" of "getting even" with him, for forging such a hugely successful career.

"I have been a happy and fortunate man for 65 years. Then came this blow (cancer). And now I am paying the price of all that happiness and good fortune. But I find sustenance in my childhood, which was both poor and happy, and I look at things calmly," Contactmusic quoted the late Pavarotti, as telling the paper.

"Illness has never caused me anguish. You feel the tumour inside of you. It works at you. But I am and will remain optimistic until I die. I have had everything in life, truly everything. So if it were all taken away, then God and I would be even," he added.

Pavarotti, 71, died on Sep 6 at his home in Modena, Northern Rome, after losing his long battle with cancer.

Opera legend Luciano Pavarotti"s death has sparked off a crucial concern - what will happen to his multi-million fortune? Many close associates are anticipating a battle over the legacy between the star's bitter ex-wife Adua and his second wife, Nicoletta, 35 years his junior. Pavarotti married Adua in 1961, but the couple divorced 35 years later, following the tenor"s affair with his secretary Nicoletta Mantovani, whom he later married.

Sources claim that even at the time of his death, the bitterness between the two is unlikely to go away as his women and loved ones will claim a share in the estimated 300 million pounds fortune he left. However, shortly before Pavarotti died, his former manager Herbert Breslin wondered whether he was actually happy with these women and with the exorbitant money he earned.

"I wonder if he loved the women who shared his life, or simply appreciated their convenience and usefulness to the reflected glow cast on him by their beauty?" the Daily Mail quoted Breslin, as saying. "I wonder if he was happy with the money we made?" he added.

Meanwhile, U2 lead singer, Bono has paid tribute to the late Opera legend Luciano Pavarotti. Bono, who once recorded with the late tenor, posted his respect and adulation for Pavarotti on the official U2 website.

“No one could inhabit those acrobatic melodies and words like Pavarotti. He lived the songs, his opera was a great mash of joy and sadness; surreal and earthy at the same time; a great volcano of a man who sang fire but spilled over with a love of life in all its complexity, a great and generous friend," The Sun quoted Bono, as stating on the website. “Some can sing opera, Luciano Pavarotti was an opera," he added.

The star recalled how the opera singer approached his band with a film crew to try and convince them to play at a festival he was organizing, and that Pavarotti made his and U2's collaboration, on their single "Miss Sarajevo," by continually phoning Bono's housekeeper.

“A great flatterer. When he wanted U2 to write him a song he rang our housekeeper, Theresa, continually so we talked about little else in our house.

When he wanted U2 to play his festival in Modena, Italy, he turned up in Dublin unannounced with a film crew and door-stepped the band," he said.

Bono expressed how the tenor managed to communicate his love despite his frail state.

“I spoke to him last week . . . the voice that was louder than any rock band was a whisper. Still he communicated his love. Full of love," he said. “That"s what people don"t understand about Luciano Pavarotti. Even when the voice was dimmed in power, his interpretive skills left him a giant among a few tall men," he added.

Operatic tenor Placido Domingo also led tributes to musical legend Luciano Pavarotti. Domingo performed with the late Italian composer, and Jose Carreras in the 'Three Tenors" concerts for over a decade.

He said that he still remembers 'that unmistakable special timbre from the bottom up to the very top of the tenor range". The 66-year-old also fondly recollected Pavarotti"s 'wonderful sense of humour".

"I also loved his wonderful sense of humour and on several occasions of our Three Tenors concerts we had trouble remembering we were giving a concert before a paying audience, because we had so much fun ourselves," the Mirrro quoted Domingo, as saying.

Mourning the death of Pavarotti, Brit singer Russell Watson, who performed with Pavarotti in 2001, dubbed him "the greatest tenor there's ever been"

"He influenced me in my early days and got me singing classical music," Watson told BBC One's Breakfast programme. "He was very flamboyant, a true artist, but a very generous man," Watson said. Australian soprano Dame Joan Sutherland, who often performed with Pavarotti, said that 'it was incredible to stand next to it and sing along with it".

"He will not be forgotten. I am very sorry to hear he is gone," Dame Joan said.

Pavarotti underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in New York in July 2006, and cancelled all public appearances since then.

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