Italian opera tenor Licitra dies after accident

September 5, 2011 22:55

MILAN - Salvatore Licitra, a leading Italian opera tenor seen as an artistic heir to the late Luciano Pavarotti, died on Monday from head injuries suffered in a scooter accident last month, a statement on his website said.

Licitra, 43, fell and hit his head when he lost control of his scooter late on Aug. 27 near the Sicilian city of Ragusa.

He was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Catania, where his condition was described as very serious.

"Salvatore Licitra did not make it," the statement posted on his official website said. "The doctors have declared him brain dead."

His family agreed to his organs being transplanted, it said.

The Swiss-born tenor debuted in 1998 but made his international breakthrough in 2002 when he stepped in for Pavarotti in Puccini's "Tosca", at New York's Metropolitan Opera. The New York Times had praised him for his "worthiness of the great Italian tradition".

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