Luciano Pavarotti's aiming for a rousing encore.
The legendary tenor is recovering from emergency surgery in New York, days after a routine medical test turned up pancreatic cancer, his manager, Teri Robson, announced Friday.
While the 70-year-old maestro is said to be "recovering well," as a result of the operation and the course of treatment recommended by his physicians, the remaining 2006 dates on Pavarotti's farewell world tour have been scrapped.
Doctors discovered a malignant tumor during a check-up before Pavarotti was scheduled to leave for Great Britain for a series of concerts.
"Fortunately, the mass was able to be completely removed at surgery," the London-based Robson said in a statement.
"Mr. Pavarotti is recovering well and his physicians are encouraged by the physical and emotional resilience of the patient."
He remains hospitalized at an undisclosed Manhattan facility.
The cancer is a malignant growth of tissue in the pancreas organ, located by the abdomen, and often strikes smokers, heavy drinkers, diabetics and the obese.
Medical experts say pancreatic cancer is one of the more deadly types of malignancies because symptoms often go undetected until the cancer's advanced. Patients typically die within 12 months of diagnosis, while fewer than 5 percent remain alive after five years. If tumors are caught early and doctors can operate successfully, the survival rate goes up, but 75 percent of patients develop a recurrence.
Noting that Pavarotti has been "overwhelmed by the thousands" with get-well messages from fans around the world, Robson said the opera man will recommence his goodbye trek in early 2007--as soon he gets the okay from his physicians--and will make up the canceled shows in Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Austria and Portugal that he had set for September.
Pavarotti announced his arrivederci to the opera scene in 2004, blaming his increasing weight and a bum knee for making it difficult to move around onstage and deliver the kind of legendary performances that established him as perhaps the most famous opera singer of all time.
Pavarotti gave the last of his 379 performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera on Mar. 13, 2004, for which he garnered a 12-minute standing ovation. He then embarked on his farewell jaunt in 2005 and planned to give more than 40 concerts around the globe celebrating his stellar 40-year career. But that too was interrupted when the tenor was forced to undergo a back operation in March.
Illness also caused him to pull out of a Three Tenors reunion that same year. Pavarotti had been set to reteam with Plácido Domingo and José Carrera in June 2005, but was waylaid by laryngitis.
The cancer diagnosis has forced Pavarotti, a diehard soccer fan, to cancel a performance scheduled for Friday in Berlin with tenor Rolando Villazon and soprano Anna Netrebko ahead of Saturday's World Cup Final between France and his native Italy.