Pavarotti Pulls Out of Show With Illness

Tenor Luciano Pavarotti (search) had neck surgery in New York earlier this month to repair two vertebrae and plans to return home to Italy this weekend before resuming his farewell tour.

Pavarotti was admitted to Lenox Hill Hospital on March 9 and was discharged two days later, spokesman Terri Robson said Tuesday in a telephone interview from her London office. He has been at his New York apartment with his wife, Nicoletta, and daughter, Alice, and is scheduled to continue his tour with a concert on April 2 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Robson said the surgery was to repair a posterior decompression of two vertebrae.

"The procedure was a routine and regular operation, and the doctors are delighted with Luciano's fast recovery," she said. "He is currently rehearsing with his conductor, Leone Magiera, every day."

Before arriving in New York on March 7, Pavarotti gave a concert in Caracas, Venezuela, on March 3. After going to South Africa, his tour takes him to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (April 7), Kiev, Ukraine (April 13), Rotterdam, Netherlands (April 16) and Prague, Czech Republic (April 20). Robson said Pavarotti's tour will unclide a concert at the Hollywood Bowl in California on Oct. 24 and that there will be a final gala concert in New York next year.

Pavarotti, who turns 70 on Oct. 12, retired from staged opera in March 2004 and has said he will retire from singing entirely following the farewell tour.