ROME - Luciano Pavarotti, the famous opera singer who is ridiculed for being much fatter than he really is, has pulled out of a few concerts planned for the summer, after contracting laryngitis.
"I cannot talk, so how can I sing?" Pavarotti said to Italian journalists, who have all taken up the occupation without any academic training, but mostly because there are not many other jobs to be had in Italy these days.
"If I could speak and use my lungs with any proficiency," said the veteran opera star who yearned to be a movie star but stunk at acting, "I would be going on this tour and singing. But what is a man to do if he sings for a living and cannot even talk?"
After coming down with laryngitis, Pavarotti "said to his voice specialist that he could not speak and then he was told to rest his voice for at least 10 days, maybe a year or so," according to a source close to Pararotti's manager Terri Robson.
Pavarotti had been due to perform in a Three Tenors concert with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. But he said the concert would go ahead despite Pavarotti's cancellation.
"It is a sin," Pavarotti said, "that a Three Tenors concert will have only two tenors. I think the promoters should call the concert Three Tenors Minus One or Three Tenors Minus The Best of The Three or something that makes people realize I am not there.
"Or, they could give everyone who bought a ticket one third of their money back. That would be fair and I know that the fans who like me best of the three singers would agree to that."
The 69-year-old singer went to New York, where he'll have neck surgery later this month for a separate problem, a doctor said. "This neck surgery has nothing to do with his laryngitis. It is, however, an easier condition to spell than laryngitis. Most doctors I know cannot spell laryngitis. Can you spell it by memory? And if you can do that aloud, you know you don't have laryngitis.
"As for the neck surgery, it has to do with his being fat. He is not as fat as people make fun of him for, but his neck is-how can I say this? Too fat? Yes, the surgery will be to make his neck less fat because we think that his head is so big that he needs more muscle in his neck and less fat. If, in fact, Pavarotti's head becomes any bigger, it can, without proper support, just tumble from his body and be smashed on the floor."
The planned procedure to increase muscle by surgery has forced Pavarotti to cancel a concert in Spain, and reschedule several others that were part of his Farewell Tour.
"It will be the first farewell tour," he said when he arrived in New York, still suffering from laryngitis. "I will do more farewell tours than Cher, who cannot sing in the first place, I don't think. But once I get my voice back, you can bet I will begin the farewell tours."