ROME – Luciano Pavarotti says he has no intention of letting the curtain fall yet on his singing career despite recent surgery for pancreatic cancer.
"I have every intention of returning to singing," the 70-year-old tenor said in an interview published Monday in the Italian daily La Stampa.
"I want to finish my tour. I can't give precise dates because I'll have to discuss it with the doctors, but I think I'll start again next year," said the man considered the greatest tenor of his times by many opera buffs.
Pavarotti was preparing to leave New York earlier this month to resume his farewell tour when doctors discovered a malignant pancreatic mass -- a kind of cancer that is often considered a death sentence.
He underwent surgery in a New York hospital, and all his remaining 2006 concerts were canceled.
Because pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, it has one of the worst recovery rates of all types of malignancies. But Pavarotti's representatives have said his cancer was contained and doctors were able to surgically remove it, offering improved odds for survival.
"In misfortune I was quite lucky," Pavarotti told the Turin-based newspaper a few hours after returning to his New York home from the hospital.
"Better, better, better," Pavarotti said when asked how he was feeling. "I'm finally at home, my home, finally out of the hospital. What can I say? It's a marvelous feeling."
In a telephone interview a few hours after his release from the hospital, he told La Stampa he would to return to his native Italy in coming weeks to continue his recovery.
Pavarotti retired from staged opera in 2004 but continued his concert career, embarking on a worldwide farewell tour.