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8 Sep, 2007 21:21

Pavarotti’s grand finale

Italian opera legend Luciano Pavarotti has been buried in his hometown after a ceremony in Modena's cathedral, in Italy. He died on Thursday at the age of 71 after battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year.

His body was on view to the public from dawn on Saturday until the start of the funeral service which was televised live. 

Pope Benedict 16th expressed his condolences and described Pavarotti as a “great performer endowed with a divine talent”. The invitation-only funeral was conducted by the Vatican's Secretary of State.

Pavarotti was buried alongside members of his family, including his parents and stillborn son, Ricardo.

The country’s Prime Minister and stars – U2’s Bono, and tenors Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras among them – attended the service.

The tenor started his musical career over 40 years ago and was hailed by many as the greatest tenor of his generation hitting nine C notes in a row. His charismatic performances helped bring a new audience to opera – making it more mainstream. 

His annual 'Pavarotti and Friends' charity concerts drew stars like Sting, Queen and U2.

But perhaps it was his collaboration with tenors Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras for the 1990 football World Cup that was his biggest gift to music.

Just days before his death, Pavarotti was awarded the highest honour for his input into the Italian music scene from the country's Ministry of Culture.