Italian Opera Star Salvatore Licitra Dies a Week After Scooter Crash

Posted September 5th, 2011 at 8:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Italian opera star Salvatore Licitra, who critics hailed as the heir to the great Luciano Pavarotti, died Monday more than a week after he was seriously hurt in a motor scooter accident.

Hospital officials in the Sicilian city of Cantania say he never regained consciousness from head and chest injuries and declared him brain dead. Doctors suspect he may have had a stroke just before he crashed. He was 43 years old.

A Swiss-born tenor, Licitra made his debut in Parma, Italy in 1998. He soared to international fame in 2002 when he filled in for Pavarotti in Puccini's Tosca at New York's Metropolitan Opera.

His performances thrilled audiences and critics who raved not just about his voice but his acting ability.