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A well-wisher in the opera maestro's home town leaves a message of condolence
Photo: © AFP
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Luciano's wife Nicoletta, daughter Cristina (centre) and the singer's sister are making preparations for the service to remember his larger-than-life personality
Photo: © AFP

Almost the entire population of Modena, some 40,000 citizens, is expected to turn out to bid a final farewell to its most famous son
Photo: © AFP

A colourful farewell planned for superstar tenor Pavarotti

7 SEPTEMBER 2007

They queued all day outside the cathedral in his home town of Modena, and as evening fell fans of the late opera legend Luciano Pavarotti were still lined up around the block to pay their respects.

While those who'd been moved by his voice and extraordinary presence were paying homage, his 37-year-old widow Nicoletta Mantovani and family prepared to bid their own final farewell. His funeral on Saturday will be a colourful affair as per instructions from the famous tenor himself. "Ask people not to wear black," he said.

Sir Elton John called the classical music star's passing a "sad day for music and a sad day for the world". Fellow rocker Sting spoke of losing "a great friend and a great voice".

"They threw away the mould when they made Luciano," was how his close pal and collaborator Placido Domingo summed up his own admiration, recalling the fun they had on stage together.

Meanwhile, Italy's prime minister, Romano Prodi, is expected among the luminaries joining mourners at the funeral service in Luciano's native city, where flags are at half mast and signs have been put up reading simply: "Adieu maestro".

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