Crowds took to The Streets of Modena last night to pay their respects to Luciano Pavarotti, the legendary opera singer who died yesterday.

The Italian town's most famous son passed away at the age of 71 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

His body was transported to Modena's cathedral where it will be on display until his funeral at the weekend.

Last night, well-wishers crammed into the city's main square for a chance to pass by Pavarotti's coffin.

Tomorrow, famous faces from the world of entertainment are expected to join world leaders and local people in laying the tenor to rest.

Since news of his death broke, friends, colleagues, fans and commentators have heaped praise on the man credited not only with a rare talent, but the gravitas to bring opera to a new audience.

"A lot of people who wouldn't normally think of listening to opera would still appreciate that opera was brought to the fore by this great voice," said fellow opera singer, Susannah Clarke.

Already a household name in operatic circles, Pavarotti, described by U2's Bono as "a great volcano of a man", achieved worldwide notoriety after singing the theme tune to the Italia 90 World Cup.

Pavarotti was a devoted football fan and in his younger years had wanted to play the sport professionally. But he was convinced to choose the opera instead and went on to become the greatest tenor of his generation.

During a 40-year career, Pavarotti sang with fellow operatic greats and other musical acts from Barry White to the Spice Girls.

In 1991, he entertained a capacity crowd, which included Princess Diana, at Hyde Park despite heavy rain.

His collaboration with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras to form the Three Tenors led to a sell-out world tour and a multi-platinum selling album.

07/09/2007 10:09:47