Italian Tenor Salvatore Licitra, dead at 43

Salvatore Licitra’s short life as a world class tenor ended this past Labor Day weekend.

Italy’s Salvatore Licitra’s career as an opera singer began in Parma, Italy, and it sadly ended Monday in a Sicilian hospital, where injuries he sustained in a Vespa accident 10 days ago took his life at age 43.

He came to the world of opera late in life, as Licitra had a graphic arts business in Milan, and was taking voice lessons as a hobby.

At age 30, he was selected by Riccardo Muti to sing at the opening night of La Scala in a new production of “Il Trovatore.”

Fame came quickly for him, as the next year he was singing at the Metropolitan Opera in “Tosca,” as a replacement for iconic tenor Luciano Pavarotti.

Years of spotty and uneven performances and less than perfect notices had dogged Licitra including accidents (a rotator cuff injury in a New York taxi cab) and he never fully regained his luster as a lead tenor.

The tenor’s last performance was July 30 at Chicago’s Ravinia festiva, where he again sang Caravadossi in “Tosca.”

Italian newspapers report that Licitra’s body will lie in state in the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Sicily.

Please enjoy a few of his performances: