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Pavarotti, operatic superstar, dies of cancer

first_imgIn the annals of that rare and coddled breed, the operatic tenor, it may well be said the 20th century began with Enrico Caruso and ended with Pavarotti. Other tenors – Domingo included – may have drawn more praise from critics for their artistic range and insights, but none could equal the combination of natural talent and personal charm that so endeared him to audiences. “Pavarotti is the biggest superstar of all,” the late New York Times music critic Harold Schonberg once said. “He’s correspondingly more spoiled than anybody else. They think they can get away with anything. Thanks to the glory of his voice, he probably can.” In his heyday, he was known as the “King of the High C’s” for the ease with which he tossed off difficult top notes. In fact it was his ability to hit nine glorious high C’s in quick succession that first turned him into an international superstar singing Tonio’s aria “Ah! Mes amis,” in Donizetti’s “La Fille du Regiment” at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1972. His name seemed to show up as much in gossip columns as serious music reviews, particularly after he split with Adua Veroni, his wife of 35 years and mother of their three daughters, and then took up with his 26-year-old secretary in 1996. In late 2003, he married Nicoletta Mantovani in a lavish, star-studded ceremony. Pavarotti said their daughter Alice, nearly a year old at the time of the wedding, was the main reason he and Mantovani finally wed after years together. In the latter part of his career, some music critics cited what they saw as an increasing tendency toward the vulgar and the commercial. In 1990, he appeared with Domingo and Carreras in a concert at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome for the end of soccer’s World Cup. The concert was a huge success, and the record known as “The Three Tenors” was a best-seller and was nominated for two Grammy awards. The video sold over 750,000 copies. The three-tenor extravaganza became a mini-industry. With a follow-up album recorded at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in 1994, the three have outsold every other performer of classical music. A 1996 tour earned each tenor an estimated $10 million. Pavarotti was preparing to leave New York in July 2006 to resume a farewell tour when doctors discovered a malignant pancreatic mass, his manager Terri Robson said at the time. He underwent surgery in a New York hospital, and all his remaining 2006 concerts were canceled. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most dangerous forms of the disease, though doctors said the surgery offered improved hopes for survival. “I was a fortunate and happy man,” Pavarotti told Italian daily Corriere della Sera in an interview published about a month after the surgery. “After that, this blow arrived.” “And now I am paying the penalty for this fortune and happiness,” he told the newspaper. Faced with speculation that the tenor was near death, Mantovani, his second wife, told Italian newspaper La Stampa in July 2007: “He’s fighting like a lion and he has never lost his heart.” Pavarotti had three daughters with his first wife, Lorenza, Cristina and Giuliana; and one, Alice, with his second wife.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ROME – Luciano Pavarotti, whose vibrant high C’s and ebullient showmanship made him one of the world’s most beloved tenors, died Thursday, his manager told The Associated Press. He was 71. His manager, Terri Robson, told the AP in an e-mailed statement that Pavarotti died at his home in Modena, Italy, at 5 a.m. local time. Pavarotti had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and underwent further treatment in August. “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,” the statement said. For serious fans, the unforced beauty and thrilling urgency of Pavarotti’s voice made him the ideal interpreter of the Italian lyric repertory, especially in the 1960s and `70s when he first achieved stardom. For millions more, his charismatic performances of standards like “Nessun dorma” from Puccini’s “Turandot” came to represent what opera is all about. Instantly recognizable from his charcoal black beard and tuxedo-busting girth, Pavarotti radiated an intangible magic that helped him win hearts in a way Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras – his partners in the “Three Tenors” concerts – never quite could. “I always admired the God-given glory of his voice – that unmistakable special timbre from the bottom up to the very top of the tenor range,” Domingo said in a statement from Los Angeles. “I also loved his wonderful sense of humor and on several occasions of our concerts with Jose Carreras – the so-called Three Tenors concerts – we had trouble remembering that we were giving a concert before a paying audience, because we had so much fun between ourselves,” he said. The tenor, who seemed equally at ease singing with soprano Joan Sutherland as with the Spice Girls, scoffed at accusations that he was sacrificing his art in favor of commercialism. “The word commercial is exactly what we want,” he said, after appearing in the widely publicized “Three Tenors” concerts. “We’ve reached 1.5 billion people with opera. If you want to use the word commercial, or something more derogatory, we don’t care. Use whatever you want.” last_img
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COLLEGE FOOTBALL ROUNDUP Boston College’s Ryan has defining moment

first_img“That’s what Heismans do,” Hokies defensive end Chris Ellis said. “They don’t ever give up. We beat the O-line, put licks on him and he came through at the end. He had a two-minute drill – two of them. He did what he had to do.” With the Hokies (6-2, 3-1) leading, 10-0, late in the fourth and the Eagles backed up against their own goal line, Ryan finally found a rhythm. He led a 91-yard scoring drive, capped by a 16-yard TD pass to Rich Gunnell with 2:11 left. “Matt Ryan, what he did tonight, along with the receivers and the whole crew there in the last three minutes of the game, that was special,” first-year coach Jeff Jagodzinski said. “There wasn’t one bit of panic – nothing – with those kids, especially that guy.” Jagodzinski was pointing to Ryan. After BC recovered an onside kick at its own 34, Ryan went back to work. Three times he scrambled away from pressure to complete passes, showing off the powerful right arm NFL scouts love and some nimble feet, too. On the deciding play, he slid to his left and spotted Callender drifting back into the end zone away from the defense. Ryan let loose, and Callender cradled in the winning score. New Mexico 34, Air Force 31: Punishing tailback Rodney Ferguson ran for 146 yards and John Sullivan kicked four field goals, leading New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M. The Lobos (6-2, 3-1 Mountain West) snapped a three-game losing streak to Air Force (6-3, 5-2), capitalizing on five lost fumbles by the Falcons – including three in the fourth quarter. Ferguson showed his durability with 41 carries and Sullivan set a school record by hitting his 18th straight field goal, a 36-yarder that put New Mexico ahead, 34-31, with 10:10 remaining. The Falcons got a big break when Sullivan finally missed, sailing wide right on a 32-yard try with 2:18 remaining. But Air Force’s Mark Root fumbled and Herbert Felder recovered for the Lobos, who ran out the clock.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The senior quarterback threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Andre Callender with 11 seconds left and the Eagles validated themselves as national title contenders with an improbable 14-10 victory over No. 8 Virginia Tech Thursday night in Blacksburg, Va. Boston College avoided becoming the fourth second-ranked team to lose in the last four weeks, with Ryan throwing two touchdown passes in the final 2:11 after doing little for the first 55 minutes against the Hokies’ swarming defense. “Well, you know there’s still time left on the clock,” Ryan said. “You know you still have a shot and you still got a chance. We’ve been in this situation so many times through the course of the year in practice and we’ve prepared ourselves really well.” Boston College (4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), second in the BCS standings this week, improved to 8-0 for the first time since 1942. Despite the fast start, some were skeptical of the Eagles, who had only played one ranked team before Virginia Tech. Ryan finished 25-for-52 for 285 yards with two interceptions, but the final numbers hardly told the story. From news services Matt Ryan bought some time, scrambling to his left away from the Virginia Tech rush while searching for an open receiver. He found just what he was looking for, fired a pass all the way across the field and kept No. 2 Boston College perfect. Call it Ryan’s Heisman moment. last_img read more

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