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Keeping pitch despite injury to rotator cuff

October 28, 2006|From the Associated Press

Rising opera star Salvatore Licitra suffered a rotator cuff injury getting out of a cab, but he didn't let that stop him from singing the role that was Enrico Caruso's trademark.

On Tuesday night, the 38-year-old Italian tenor ended up in a hospital emergency ward, instead of a Manhattan party thrown by Sony Classical in celebration of his latest recording, "Forbidden Love."

He had stepped out of a taxi in a narrow space between parked cars and went flying to the ground, left shoulder first. He went to the hospital, where his bleeding leg was bandaged. An MRI and X-rays the next day revealed that he had torn tendons in his rotator cuff -- an injury more often suffered by baseball pitchers, not opera stars.

"But, how do the Americans say? 'The show must go on,' " he said. So on Thursday evening, he appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci" as Canio, the clown who sings despite a broken heart -- and, in this case, with his arm in a sling.

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