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Learning English - Words in the News
07 September, 2007 - Published 10:45 GMT
Tributes to Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti

Preparations are being made for the funeral of Luciano Pavarotti, the world famous tenor who died in Italy on Thursday. Celebrities and politicians from around the world will be travelling to his home town of Modena on Saturday. This report from Christian Fraser:

Listen to the story

Since late Thursday evening there's been a steady stream of people filing past Luciano Pavarotti's open casket. He's dressed in his traditional black tuxedo, his white scarf round his neck, the rosaries in his hand. Last night his second wife, Nicoletta, stood by the coffin as hundreds queued outside Modena cathedral for a last glimpse of their favourite tenor.

The family have asked for a solemn funeral, though in many ways it's taken the shape of a state funeral. The Prime Minister, Romano Prodi, has signalled his wish to attend and the Italian papers have speculated that the British royal family might also send a representative.

There will also be a long list of celebrities and musicians here. The line-up includes many of those with whom he shared the stage - Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Bono, Sting and Elton John among them. Pavarotti's great friend Andrea Bocelli will sing the Panis Angelicus which Pavarotti had sung with his father in this same cathedral many years ago. And the funeral will be shown live on Italian television - a screen in the cathedral square for the many thousands of people expected.

Christian Fraser, BBC News, Modena

Listen to the words

a steady stream of people filing past
many people walking in a long line, one behind another, past

open casket
coffin, i.e. a long box in which a dead person is buried, with the top off so that people can see the body

a man's jacket worn at formal events with matching trousers and a bow tie

strings of beads (i.e. small decorative balls) used especially by Roman Catholics and Buddhists to count prayers

for a last glimpse
to see briefly for the last time

dignified and accompanied by ceremony

taken the shape of
become more like

signalled his wish to
indicated he would like to; said he would

guessed, although without enough information

shared the stage
sang/performed together in front of an audience

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