Sad news is rocking the opera world today and making internaitonal headlines, too. Although this household name is big on the opera scene and didn’t exactly perform at last week’s VMAs, Salvatore Licitra, the tenor with the booming voice has passed away. He died in Sicily from injuries related to a scooter accident at 43.
Last week in a sad twist of fate, he was supposed to receive a prize in Ragusa, Sicily. As indicated by The New York Times, he lost control of his scooter after suffering from a cerebral hemorrhage; he wasn’t wearing a helmet. Although Salvatore was riding with his girlfriend, she was not hurt in the crash.
Apparently he made a splash on the scene nine years ago when he filled in at the Met at the very last minute for ailing opera legend Luciano Pavarotti. The Swiss-born Sicilian singer grew up in Milan and actually worked as a graphic artist for Italian Vogue. Once his mother heard him singing along to the radio, she persuaded him to take music lessons.
The tenor studied at the Music Academy of Parma and Carlo Bergonzi’s voice academy in Busseto. After singing in a few choirs, he started to sing at small opera houses, thereby getting his start in his sparkling, albeit abrupt career. May he rest in peace.