Luciano Pavarotti, the brilliant Italian tenor whose voice delivered opera out of its classical confines and made it a broader pop culture phenomenon, popularizing the art as never before, died this morning at his home in Modena, Italy, surrounded by friends and family. He had been battling pancreatic cancer. He was 71.
London’s Royal Opera House at Covent Garden released a statement shortly after the news of his death: “”He 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. That will be his legacy.”
His manager told the AP, “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.”