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Monday, 14 January, 2002, 10:10 GMT
Pavarotti's farewell to mother
Pavarotti (centre) will be back on stage in London on Tuesday
Pavarotti (centre) will be back on stage in London on Tuesday
Tenor Luciano Pavarotti is due back in London for a performance on Tuesday after attending his mother's funeral in Italy.

Adele Venturi Pavarotti, 86, died in the Italian city of Modena after a long illness on Thursday.

Pavarotti played a recorded version of his rendition of Ave Maria at the funeral on Sunday.

More than 1,000 people attended the service, with Pavarotti in a front pew along with his father, Fernando, and sister, Gabriella.

The opera star heard the news of his mother's death while he was rehearsing at London's Royal Opera House on the eve of the opening of Puccini's Tosca.

Pavarotti is appearing in Tosca
Pavarotti is appearing in Tosca
Pavarotti flew to Modena to be with his family, then flew back again to perform triumphantly on Friday.

A spokeswoman said the family had urged him to go ahead with his four-night turn as Mario Cavaradossi in Giacomo Puccini's Tosca.

Gabriella was the only family member to speak at the funeral and said her mother had left "a great heritage, respect for the nature of music".

She added: "As it is difficult to speak with you at this moment, we have asked for the help of music which you always taught us to love."

Adele Venturi was one of the main reasons why Pavarotti decided on a life of music and opera.

Pavarotti:
Pavarotti: Still enjoying singing on stage
He dedicated Friday's performance of Tosca to his mother and his powerful voice on the night was hailed by critics.

Rodney Milnes from The Times wrote: "Some of the juiciness of its sound, the honeyed quality has gone, but the tone is steady as a rock, amazingly so for a man of 66."

The Guardian's Andrew Clements said his voice "remains an extraordinary instrument - still matchless in its clarity."

Pavarotti believes he owes his global success to the UK and the Royal Opera House in particular.

'Retire'

He made his international debut there as a 28-year-old tenor filling in for a sick Giuseppe di Stefano to sing Rodolfo in Puccini's La Boheme and had his first spot on popular TV on Sunday Night at the London Palladium.

But his much-awaited return is thought likely to be one of his last in the classic tenor role as recently he has experienced a diminution of the voice.

"I will know when my voice is ready to retire and will not go on beyond that time," he has said.

"As far as the last appearance at Covent Garden goes, I really can't say. I'm just going to enjoy singing Cavaradossi."

Pavarotti will give three more performances of Tosca at the Royal Opera House on 15, 18 and 21 January.

See also:

10 Jan 02 | Music
Pavarotti mourns his mother
20 Oct 01 | Europe
Pavarotti cleared of tax evasion
17 Sep 01 | Arts
Pavarotti denies tax evasion
14 Jul 01 | Music
Pavarotti wows Hyde Park
02 May 01 | Arts
King of the high Cs
14 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Pavarotti dreams of Madonna duet
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