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Pavarotti Praised for ‘Tosca’

January 15, 2002

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LONDON (AP) _ Luciano Pavarotti triumphed over age, the loss of his mother _ and Britain’s opera critics _ with his performance in ``Tosca″ at London’s Royal Opera House.

Most writers praised Friday’s performance, which many speculate will be the tenor’s last in an opera in London.

Critics bemoaned the frayed sets of the Royal Opera’s revival of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1964 production, but lauded Pavarotti’s still-powerful voice.

``Some of the juiciness of its sound, the honeyed quality has gone,″ Rodney Milnes wrote Saturday in The Times, ``but the tone is steady as a rock, amazingly so for a man of 66.″

The voice, The Guardian’s Andrew Clements agreed, ``remains an extraordinary instrument _ still matchless in its clarity and its ability to project every syllable, and still phrased with instinctive musicality.″

But, he conceded, ``There is not much acting to go with the voice; there has not been for a good few years now.″

The singer was in rehearsals for his performance of the Puccini opera Thursday when he learned his 86-year-old mother, Adele, had died. He immediately flew to Modena in northern Italy to be with his family, but returned to London in time to sing.

Pavarotti, returning to the Royal Opera for the first time in four years, is due to give three more performances of ``Tosca″ on Tuesday, Friday and Jan. 21.

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