The pair, who wed in the singer's home town of Modena on Saturday, have been together since the mid-1990s when Pavarotti left his first wife for Mantovani, who is half his age.

"Alice joyfully invites you to the wedding of daddy Luciano and mummy Nicoletta," read the invitation from the couple's 11-month-old daughter.

A host of stars, from rockers Bono and Sting to Juventus footballer Alessandro del Piero, attended the wedding which had been eagerly anticipated by Italian gossip magazines and television chat shows.

On this occasion Pavarotti left the singing to fellow tenor Andrea Bocelli who is set to perform Ave Maria during the civil ceremony.

Spanish tenors Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras were to attend the marriage in Modena's central theatre. Pavarotti, who turned 68 in October, dazzled audiences in the early 1990s singing alongside the Spaniards as the Three Tenors.

Retiring

But his career began 30 years earlier when the big Italian, immediately recognisable for his wide smile and jet-black hair, appeared in "La Boheme". His effortlessly rich, rolling voice has made him one of the world's highest-paid singers.

Pavarotti, who says he will retire on his 70th birthday in 2005, met Mantovani when she was still a student. Once his personal assistant, she was seen as the driving force for revitalising his career after a hip replacement in 1998.

Their relationship became public when photographers pictured them kissing on a beach holiday and he separated from his wife of 37 years Adua, with whom he had three daughters, in 1996.

Pavarotti has been fondly remembered in Aljazeera's home town of Doha since he performed at the Qatari capital’s Sheraton hotel in March.