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Wednesday, June 10, 1998 Published at 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK


The tenor and the Spice Girls

Bearded Spice with Baby, Sporty, Posh and Scary

The Spice Girls have revealed that they have spoken to Geri Halliwell, Ginger Spice, since she quit the band a fortnight ago.

The girls were speaking in Modena, Italy, where they sang with the opera superstar Pavarotti, at the fourth of his War Child charity concerts.

The foursome sang two numbers: 'Stop' on their own, and 'Viva Forever' for which they were joined onstage by Pavarotti.

[ image: The Spice Boy kisses the Spice Girls]
The Spice Boy kisses the Spice Girls
Pavarotti appeared to enjoy the experience and agreed with the Italian compere afterwards that it had been a musical experiment "but a beautiful one".

The girls denied they had been scared to sing with such a great talent and Mel C said: "I think he was scared to sing with us, actually."

The four remaining Spice Girls spoke for the first time about their split with Geri and insisted it is amicable: "Of course we've been in touch with her - there's a lot of things to sort out," Sporty Spice said.

"We really do wish her well - we want her to succeed," Mel C said.

"Okay, there's been a change in the line-up but we're not the first or the last people for that to happen to.

"We played two gigs without her in Oslo and it worked really well as a foursome.

"It's strange, but we're getting used to it."

She was backed by Scary Spice, Mel B, who is believed to have been at the centre of a power struggle with Ginger Spice over who should lead the band.

"It was a huge shock at first, like we had lost a limb," she said.

"But if someone wants to move on you can't hold them back. We're all growing up and wanting to do our own things.

"Geri's growing up too, and if she wanted to go in another direction that's up to her.

"We don't know when we'll see her again but hopefully it will be soon."

Victoria Adams, Posh Spice, added: "If Geri walked through the door now we would all be like, hello.

"It would be like friends meeting up. It's not nasty, we've all said that. We all love each other and we all love Geri."

[ image: Everyone sang the grand finale]
Everyone sang the grand finale
As well as the Spice Girls the War Child concert included stars such as Stevie Wonder, Jon Bon Jovi, Celine Dion and Natalie Cole.

Other highlights for the crowd were the Irish group The Corrs singing in Italian and Celine Dion delivering her Oscar-winning Titanic song My Heart Will Go On in an appropriately Edwardian dress with a bustle.

The show, Pavarotti and Friends, was to raise money to construct a children's village for the orphans of the Liberian civil war.

Previous concerts have enabled Pavarotti to raise enough money to build a music therapy centre in Bosnia in his name.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan sent a message of support by satellite link.

He said: "To Luciano Pavarotti, whose heart is even greater than his voice, I offer my admiration and thanks."

His efforts, he said, were offering these children "the home they never enjoyed, the childhood they never had and the future they never dreamed of".

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