July 7, 2006

Tenor Pavarotti recovering after cancer surgery

By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Luciano Pavarotti, regarded by many as
the greatest tenor of his generation, is recovering in a U.S.
hospital after undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer, his
manager said on Friday.

The Italian singer, 70, has been forced to postpone his
farewell opera tour until 2007.

He was preparing to leave New York last week to perform at
concerts in Britain when doctors readmitted him to hospital
after the results of a routine medical test raised concern.

"Mr. Pavarotti underwent a diagnostic evaluation and a
malignant pancreatic mass was identified. Fortunately, the mass
was able to be completely removed at surgery," Terri Robson

"Pavarotti remains under the care of a team of doctors in
New York, and will undergo a course of treatment over the
coming months," she added.

The surgery is the latest setback for the tenor, who has
been forced to cancel several dates on his marathon farewell
tour this year due to illness including back complications.

Robson would not say what hospital was treating Pavarotti,
and added only that he had undergone surgery "within the last
seven days."

"Pavarotti is recovering well and his physicians are
encouraged by the physical and emotional resilience of their
patient," she said.

"As a result of Mr. Pavarotti's forthcoming treatment, all
remaining 2006 concerts have been canceled. It is anticipated
that tour plans will recommence in early 2007."

Since his operatic debut in 1961, Pavarotti has become one
of the most recognized classical musicians in the world,
regularly gracing the stage at New York's Metropolitan Opera,
London's Covent Garden and La Scala in Milan.

His operatic breakthrough came at the Met, which he refers
to as "my home," when, in 1972, he famously hit nine high C's
in a row in "Daughter of the Regiment."

Fittingly, it was at the same venue that he said farewell
to opera, in a performance of Giacomo Puccini's "Tosca" in
March, 2004.

He entered mainstream culture in 1990 when he sang
Puccini's aria "Nessun Dorma" at the soccer World Cup in Italy
alongside Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.

According to the International Agency for Research on
Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, pancreatic cancer is the 14th
most common cancer worldwide with about 216,000 new cases
diagnosed each year.

There are few early symptoms of cancer of the pancreas,
which is a gland in the abdomen, and no screening test. Most
cases occur in people over 60 years old, with smokers and
diabetics facing a higher risk of developing the disease.

Patients have a better prognosis if the cancer is detected
early, before it has spread, but the five-year survival rates
are poor at less than five percent.

(Additional reporting by Patricia Reaney)