People: Pavarotti and Verdi prove to be the ultimate duet as concerts sell out

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The Independent Online
Tickets to hear Luciano Pavarotti singing Verdi's Requiem with the Philharmonia in the Royal Festival Hall in December sold out in two hours.

It is the first time that the South Bank Centre in London has welcomed both Pavarotti and his fellow tenor, Placido Domingo, to the hall. In the past, the centre has talked more of expanding pop and rock music, but the 1997-1998 season focuses on the six resident orchestras, ranging from the London Philharmonic to the Alban Berg Quartet. The Philharmonia season until next March is already 65 per cent sold. Such sales go some way to confirming the claim of Nicholas Snowman, the centre's artistic director, that attendances at classical concerts are, marginally, on the increase.

Other highlights on the South Bank this winter include Nigel Kennedy playing Elgar, Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the Royal Ballet, featuring Darcey Bussell, Viviana Durante and Leanne Benjamin, with Tales of Beatrix Potter and Peter and the Wolf.

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