Show nearly over for top tenor

Opera singer Luciano Pavarotti has given the first of his three retirement performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera.

    The world famous opera singer will retire in 2004

    The 68-year-old will perform at the Met for the last time on Saturday, singing in Puccini's Tosca.

    The veteran entertainer can expect a warm welcome, having given 373 performances in New York over a period of 36 years.

    But Met performance number 375 on 13 March will not be his last appearance internationally, as he plans to sing on two more occasions at other venues.

    However, not everyone was happy with his last performance at the Met on 6 March. 


    Pavarotti has begun to plan his
    retirement with his wife

    One reviewer, Antoni Tommasini, chose to criticise Pavarotti's retirement parade. "It was sad to hear him with such diminished energy on this occasion.

    "It took so much concentration for Mr Pavarotti simply to make his voice work that he essentially left matters of rhythm and pacing to chance." 
    But about 4000 opera-lovers clearly enjoyed themselves last Saturday and gave one of the most famous Opera singers a standing ovation.

    Pavarotti will be 69 in October. After retiring, he plans to teach music and spend more time with his wife Nicoletta and their young daughter.



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