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CANCER-HIT PAVAROTTI FIGHTING FOR LIFE; Docs at singer's side.

Byline: By Keith McLeod

OPERA giant Luciano Pavarotti was clinging to life last night.

The 71-year-old tenor, who has pancreatic cancer, was in a "very serious" condition, Italian news agencies reported.

Pavarotti was being cared for at home by doctors from the hospital in his home city of Modena, where he had two weeks of treatment last month.

The singer's manager, Terri Robson, did not deny the reports about his condition.

Pavarotti was only released from hospital on August 25, more than two weeks after he was admitted with a high fever.

Aides denied reports at the time that he had been treated for pneumonia.

Pavarotti had cancer surgery in New York in July last year. Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of the disease but doctors said the op would give him a better chance of survival.

The star has also endured several gruelling bouts of chemotherapy.

Pavarotti has not sung in public since his surgery.

He last performed for an audience in 2006 at the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Turin.

Pavarotti is best known in Britain for his performance of Puccini's Nessun Dorma, used by the BBC as the theme music for the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

He sang for millions worldwide as a member of the Three Tenors with Placido Domingo and Jose Contreras.

Pavarotti's wife Nicoletta Mantovani, 37, was at his bedside last night with their daughter Alice, four.

The singer also has three daughters from his marriage to first wife Adua, who he wed in 1961, and one granddaughter.

Pavarotti was a close friend of Princess Diana and campaigned alongside her to rid the world of landmines. He turned down an invitation to sing at her funeral, saying he could not perform "with grief in my throat".

CAPTION(S):

GIANT OF OPERA: Pavarotti during his last tour in 2004; PROUD DAD: With Nicoletta and Alice
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 6, 2007
Words:316
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