Pavarotti: 'God Helps Me Fight Cancer'

*** FILE *** Tenor Luciano Pavarotti smiles at a press-conference Friday May 20, 2005 in Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro. Pavarotti underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer and is "recovering well," his manager said Friday July 7, 2006. The 70-year-old singer was preparing to leave New York last week to resume his performance schedule in Britain when doctors discovered a malignant pancreatic mass, Terri Robson said from her London office. (AP Photo / Srdjan Ilic)
AP Photo/Srdjan Ilic
Luciano Pavarotti says he is getting a hand from God in his battle against pancreatic cancer.

"Now I only need God's help, and it really seems to me that he is giving it to me," Pavarotti was quoted as telling Corriere della Sera in an interview published Tuesday.

The interview, at the 70-year-old tenor's villa near the Adriatic Sea resort town of Pesaro, was conducted by Ettore Mo, a veteran correspondent of the Milan daily and a friend of Pavarotti for some 40 years. Pavarotti sat in a wheelchair.

Mo wrote that some of Pavarotti's replies disturbed him, including one in which the singer told him, without explanation, that he doesn't want to listen to his own recordings anymore.

After reminiscing fondly about his performances alongside Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras as the Three Tenors, Pavarotti added: "It was a great beautiful season that we had. But I don't listen to myself (singing) anymore."

"I don't want to hear myself. If you invite me to dinner, and to please me, you put on one of my own recordings, I would walk out on you," he was quoted as saying. "If you want me to stay, make me hear Placido's voice."

Pavarotti was preparing to leave New York last month to resume a farewell tour when doctors discovered a malignant pancreatic mass. He had surgery, and all his remaining 2006 concerts were canceled. Pavarotti retired from staged opera in 2004.

"I was a fortunate and happy man" into his 60s, Pavarotti told the newspaper. "After that, this blow arrived," he said, referring to the tumor. "And now I am paying the penalty for this fortune and happiness."

"But I find nourishment in my childhood, which was poor and happy, and I view things with serenity. Illnesses haven't left me anguished," he said.

Several times during the interview, which was conducted after lunch, Pavarotti appeared to doze off, Mo wrote.