A routine medical test in New York at the beginning of this month revealed a malignant mass on the tenor's pancreas. The mass was immediately removed and Pavarotti was recovering at his New York apartment until yesterday, when he flew to Italy, according to the newspaper. He is now with his family at his Modena home, preparing for a six-month course of chemotherapy due to begin this fall.
While the unexpected illness led him to cancel all his remaining engagements for 2006, Pavarotti insists that he wants to resume the worldwide farewell tour he was undertaking — intermittently, due to back problems and other health difficulties — during 2005 and early 2006 prior to his planned retirement. Nevertheless, he told Il Messaggero, "I have no plans at the moment. The illness is there and I must fight it, step by step."