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Wife of Hospitalized Pavarotti Says Condition Improving, Expects Hospital Release Soon

Luciano Pavarotti was doing better Friday after he was admitted to a hospital in northern Italy with a fever and was expected to be released "in the coming days," his wife said.

The tenor, who underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer last year, has been hospitalized in his hometown of Modena since Wednesday. The 71-year-old was being kept under observation and his condition was described in a medical bulletin Thursday as "satisfactory."

"He is doing better," Pavarotti's wife, Nicoletta Mantovani, told reporters at the hospital, according to the ANSA news agency. "He has had an uneventful night."

"He is serene, he talks and jokes," Mantovani said of her husband.

She confirmed that the tenor was expected to be released "in the coming days, certainly," and added: "The doctors are very positive."

The hospital said it did not expect to issue any updates on Pavarotti's condition Friday.

Newspapers have reported that Pavarotti had pneumonia, but the tenor's manager, Terri Robson, declined to comment on the report in a phone call and a subsequent e-mail exchange with The Associated Press.

Robson said that Pavarotti came down with a fever while vacationing at his holiday home in Pesaro, a seaside resort on the Adriatic some 125 miles southeast of Modena, and his doctor decided to admit him to the hospital for tests.

Pavarotti underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in July 2006 in a New York hospital. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most dangerous forms of the disease, though doctors said the surgery offered improved hopes for survival.

At the time of the operation, Pavarotti was preparing to resume his farewell tour. He has made no public appearances since then. Robson has said he has been busy teaching and working on a recording of sacred music.

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