160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LOS ANGELES – Placido Domingo says he and Luciano Pavarotti were the best of friends and the best of rivals for 40 years and it made them both better men and better tenors. Domingo is director of the Los Angeles Opera and was in the middle of rehearsals for the season’s opening weekend when heard that Pavarotti had died in Italy at age 71. At a news conference, Domingo said he spoke regularly with Pavarotti during the past year as he battled pancreatic cancer. Domingo said Pavarotti was cheerful, vibrant and productive to the end. The last time they talked about eight days ago, Pavarotti told him he wanted to produce a religious album for Christmas. They made plans to see each other next month and there was no final goodbye.