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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Glyndebourne remembers Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti
Pavarotti performed at Glyndebourne and Leeds Castle
The president of Glyndebourne opera house has paid tribute to tenor Luciano Pavarotti who has died at his home in the northern Italian city of Modena.

Sir George Christie said he remembered him with "warmth and affection" and he would be greatly missed.

The 71-year-old singer performed at Glyndebourne in 1964.

Staff at Leeds Castle in Kent, who witnessed two sell-out shows in 1993 and 2004, talked about his generosity and approachability.

Pavarotti was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006.

Even though he was this huge megastar that people flocked to he was very down to earth, warm and really cared about the people around him
Simeon Rosset

Sir George Christie, president at Glyndebourne, said: "I remember Luciano Pavarotti with great warmth and affection from his performances at Glyndebourne in the role of Idamante in Mozart's Idomeneo in 1964.

"This was Pavarotti's first professional engagement performing a Mozart opera and he later commented 'What I learned there was to sing piano from Jani Strasser' (head of music at Glyndebourne at the time).

Sir George added: "His extraordinary musical contribution and his unique personality earned him the fond nickname of Passion Flower whilst he was at Glyndebourne that summer.

"He will be greatly missed by all that knew him then and the audiences worldwide that he went on to captivate with his voice."

Concert invitation

About 36,000 people attended two concerts at Leeds Castle. His performance in July 2004 is believed to have been one of his last in the UK.

Simeon Rosset, who worked as Pavarotti's butler while he was at Leeds Castle, said: "Even though he was this huge megastar that people flocked to he was very down to earth, warm and really cared about the people around him and the people looking after him."

He added: "He stayed in the green bedroom which is our top bedroom, which we had specially modified for his needs.

"And because I couldn't go across and watch the show, because I was working, he invited me out to Hamburg and gave me front row tickets to the show and then I sat at the top table with him at the after party afterwards."


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