Thousands Mourn Pavarotti
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2007 9:24 AM CDT
In this image from video made available by Italy's state network RAI TG1 news, relatives and friends the start of the funeral service of late Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti in Modena's Duomo Cathedral,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Modena's main piazza was filled with throngs of Luciano Pavarotti fans today as invited mourners gathered at the cathedral for the tenor's funeral. The service, which was shown on huge screens in the piazza and broadcast live, was attended by an ecclectic group of dignitaries and artists with whom the opera star had collaborated, including former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and U2 lead singer Bono.

A telegram of condolence from Pope Benedict XVI was read; the Pope said Pavarotti had "honored the divine gift of music through his extraordinary interpretative talent." The singer's white maple casket, covered in his favorite sunflowers, had been viewed by thousands of well-wishers yesterday.