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Special visit to see LP; Luciano Pavarotti: 1936-2007.


ON stage, Luciano Pavarotti's presence held his fans in awe. And in private, he was every bit as mesmerising.

I was lucky enough to spend time with the Maestro - or LP to his friends - and experience his engaging personality at first-hand.

A devoted family man, Pavarotti got back to Modena whenever he could.

Hospitable to a fault back in 2003, he suggested meeting at his sumptuous apartment. From the outside, it seemed imposing but inside Pavarotti's cluttered possessions said everything about his real passions - friends, family, food and football.

Decorated in grand, Italian style, a huge 60in TV dominated the marble-floored lounge, while football posters clad the walls.

Pavarotti seemed genuinely concerned that I was enjoying my stay in his town. As we spoke, his old childhood friends popped their heads around the door to say "ciao".

"We used to play football, now we stay up playing cards. These are the people who mean so much to be me."

Dressed down in billowing black trousers and a loose shirt, he proudly spoke of his nine-month-old daughter Alice, spending most of the next hour showing me photos of her. "Alice was probably the only thing I've ever planned in my life," he said.

Pondering his advancing years, he paused wistfully before adding: "We are all enjoying our beautiful moments now.

"Who knows how long I will enjoy being with my children and loved ones?"

Alice may have only had him for a few years but she couldn't have wished for a nicer, kinder daddy.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 7, 2007
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