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Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 05:06 GMT 06:06 UK
Swansong for Three Tenors
Carreras, Pavarotti and Domingo: The Three Tenors
Pavarotti (centre) is to retire in 2005
Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti will appear with fellow tenors José Carreras and Placido Domingo at a World Cup concert at Yokohama Arena, Japan, on Thursday.

The Three Tenors have said this will be the last of their joint World Cup concerts, which started 12 years ago in Rome.

On Wednesday, Pavarotti, 66, announced he would retire on his 70th birthday, 12 October 2005, following speculation that he wanted to end his singing career.

It was thought to be the first time the opera star had publicly discussed the date of his own retirement.

The most popular artist in the history of the classical recording industry, Pavarotti recently cancelled a number of engagements, including an appearance at New York's Metropolitan Opera House.

Pavarotti
Pavarotti has recently scaled back performances
And he joked that after that date, "I never sing even in the bathroom, not even when I'm taking a shower".

He also said he is planning to marry Nicoletta Mantovani, 32, his companion of six years, and added the couple is thinking about having children - "one or two or 10".

"I proposed to her several years ago," he said. "She says yes. And she still say yes - I think she's a masochist."

Pavarotti's 34-year marriage to his wife, Adua, ended after photographs of him with Ms Mantovani were published.

His three daughters from his marriage are all older than his fiancée.

Referring to criticism for pulling out of what was rumoured to be his last appearance at the New York Met on 11 May, Pavarotti said he had been ill with laryngitis and could not talk.

"It's stupid, absolutely stupid, to make such a big fuss," he said.

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