In an emotional interview from Lucerne, Switzerland, Zubin Mehta talked about his friend and colleague, Salvatore Licitra:
I'm just devastated. It is, after all, such an unnecessary death. I heard all kinds of details and I'm shocked, I can't tell you how much. He was pure pleasure for conductors. He was an excellent singer, an intelligent musician and a wonderful actor on stage.
He was with us in Israel only last year with ‘Il Trovatore', and last November he sang in the ‘Force of Destiny' which I conducted in Florence. He was also supposed to join us on a trip to Japan, but the Metropolitan Opera wouldn't let him go. I'm so sorry, I can't express in words how much it hurts.
[Licitra had] a combination of a very beautiful voice and musical intelligence, which came naturally to him. His pronunciation was similar to that of Pavarotti. I say Pavarotti because beyond everything else, he had an unusual pronunciation of the Italian language. Salvatore had it too, very similar. He had great dictation, a wonderful sense of music. For me, as a friend and conductor, I feel it's a very big loss.”
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.