Pavarotti hits top C for a 10-year-old boy

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The Independent Online
Luciano Pavarotti has given a personal singing lesson to a 10- year-old boy with cerebral palsy whose health was dramatically improved after he started watching videos of the tenor in order to learn his breathing technique.

Allan Morton (above, with Pavarotti) from Kincardine-on-Forth, Fife, was born with cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus, and as a baby was slow to react to his surroundings. But when he was two he suddenly became "animated" when he saw Pavarotti on the television, and by the age of six had worn out countless videos of the singer. When doctors suggested that Allan take singing lessons to improve his breathing, he focussed on Pavarotti's work and can now sing arias in both Italian and English.

For his 10th birthday, Pavarotti invited Allan to one of his concerts in Manchester as a special treat and asked him backstage afterwards. Allan sang in Italian for the tenor, who then showed him how to hit a difficult top C. "I will show you how to sing that note. Before you go for it, pause, take a breath and then hit it," Pavarotti told him."

The maestro then applauded, gave Allan a hug and presented him with a signed autobiography before saying: "You sing like an angel."

Allan said afterwards that it was a dream come true to be able to sing in front of Pavarotti. "To sing for the maestro is the most wonderful moment of my life," he said. "Ever since I can remember his voice has inspired me. I can sing all his arias in both English and Italian, but there cannot be many people who get a singing lesson from the great man.

Geoff O'Connell, marketing director of the housebuilding company Bellway, which sponsored the concert, said: "As soon as Pavarotti heard about this most moving story he insisted on meeting Allan - and that he sang for him."

Last May, Pavarotti sang at the Royal Opera House before it closed for redevelopment. It was his only solo performance in London of the season and his first recital at the Royal Opera House in eight years. Pavarotti arrived in London with his girlfriend 27- year-old Nicoletta Mantovani. She was the singer's secretary, but moved into his Italian home two years ago when Pavarotti left his wife of 36 years.

She immediately put him on a strict diet to reduce his legendary bulk by several stones, and has been credited with huge influence over him, despite being younger than his three daughters.

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