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Italy: Star tenor dies from scooter accident injuries

last update: September 05, 17:48

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Rome, 5 Sept. (AKI) - Italian tenor Salvatore Licitra died Monday from head injuries he suffered nine days ago in an accident while riding his scooter in his Sicily.

Lictra, 43, was born in Bern, Switzerland to Italian parents and grew up in Milan.

He drew international attention in 1998 when he inaugurated the 1998 Arena di Verona, according to his official website. The following year Maestro Riccardo Muti brought him to La Scala for a new production of La Forza del Destino. In May 2002 Mr. Licitra had his international break through when he stepped in on short notice for Luciano Pavarotti at the Metropolitan Opera in Puccini's Tosca.

Many considered him the heir to Pavarotti, who died one day short of four years ago.

Following the 27 August accident near Ragusa, Licitra was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Catania where he was reported in stable condition after surgery. He was reportedly not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

His doctor, Sergio Pintaudi, previously indicated that Licitra may have had a bleeding inside the brain, cerebral hemorrhage, immediately before the accident. This could have caused him to loose control of the vehicle, the website said.

He was due to appear in six performances in the title role of Verdi's Ernani with the Teatro Comunale di Bologna's tour of Japan starting 18 Sept. His last performance was 30 July near Chicago in Tosca.

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