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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 July, 2004, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Trophy honour for Pavarotti
Pavarotti with trophy (courtesty of Huw Walters)
The Pavarotti Trophy will be first presented next year
Opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti is to have Llangollen International Eisteddfod's Choir of the World competition named after him.

The change of name will take place from 2005, exactly 50 years after the singer began his international career at the festival.

The competition will be known as the Pavarotti Trophy, and is named in honour of the tenor and also his father, Fernando.

Pavarotti makes the announcement in an interview to be broadcast next week.

The singer and his father were members of an Italian choir which won the competition in 1955.

Llangollen's music director Mervyn Cousins said: "The designation [on the trophy] will be in honour of both Fernando and Luciano Pavarotti.

"They were both part of the Societa Corale G. Rossini Modena, who won the male choirs competition back in 1955.

Pavarotti's choir in 1955
Pavarotti (left of man holding trophy) with the choir in 1955

"Pavarotti himself has always said that Llangollen was the one experience that made him decide to follow a career in music and marked the 40th anniversary of this feat by returning to perform at the festival in 1995.

"We are all extremely honoured by this gesture from one of music's true greats."

The 68-year-old singer has begun a farewell series of concerts which will run up to his 70th birthday in October 2005, when he plans to retire.

There are hopes he will mark the 50th anniversary of his first Eisteddfod win with a return visit in 2005 as part of that tour.

He was supposed to appear at the 2003 festival to begin it, but pulled out weeks before the start saying he wanted to perform in Llangollen near the end of the tour two years later.

Tears

In the interview, to be broadcast at the International Eisteddfod just before this year's Choir of the Year contest on 10 July, he talks fondly of his memories of the 1955 event.

He says he was surprised at winning, and tears appear when asked what Llangollen meant to him.

"The maestro is obviously extremely touched and at the same time delighted to see this happen, as he relates in the interview," said Gwyn Williams, eisteddfod chief executive.

"There is even a very strong hint that he will return to the International Eisteddfod in the future.

"We would be all extremely honoured should he be able to visit us in 2005 to present the first ever trophy to bear his family name.

"We'll have to wait and see."


SEE ALSO:
Pavarotti pulls out of festival
17 Jun 03  |  Wales
Fans 'gutted' by star's withdrawal
18 Jun 03  |  North East Wales
Opera legend to become teacher
07 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
Pavarotti makes opera return
30 Jun 03  |  Entertainment


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