Tenor singer Salvatore Licitra, who made a splash at the Metropolitan Opera by filling in for Luciano Pavarotti, has died in Italy following a severe motorscooter accident last month. The death was announced on Licitra's website, which said that Licitra has been in a coma since sustaining severe head and chest injuries during an August 27th accident in Sicily. He was 43.
Opera fans will recall that Licitra "arrived on the New York scene with a splash" in 2002, when he filled in for an ailing Pavarotti during the final nights of Puccini's Tosca. His performance wowed the audience and resulted in an extended standing ovation at the end of the night. He also sang in a number of other shows at the Met in following seasons, including Verdi’s Forza del Destino and Puccini’s Trittico, and was scheduled to appear in the title role of Verdi’s Ernani this February.
Peter Gelb, the Metropolitan Opera's general manager, said that Lucitra was "one of the greatest natural tenor talents of his generation. His premature death is tragic for his family, friends and loved ones, and his legions of admirers around the world, which include his many fans at the Met."
Here's a video of Lucitra singing Tosca at the Met: