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Pavarotti Leaving Opera For Hip-Hop
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NEW YORK, New York - Saturday night, in an emotionally charged evening, Luciano Pavarotti ended his opera career with his performance of "Tosca" at the Metropolitan Opera. The 68-year-old tenor told the crowd during a solo curtain call, "Thank you, my friends, you're all the best. But I've got something to get off my chest." Tearing open his tuxedo, he revealed a number of gold chains and medallions, and began to rap, "My new career, is gonna knock you back! Into the hip-hop world, I'm gonna crack. I'm big, I'm fat, I can hold my own in a scrape. I'm like Eminem in a rounder shape. Listen to me! Don't be denyin'. I'm a rappin' King! My CD's be a-buyin'!"

The announcement was met with some interest, but mostly with surprise. "I don't like rap," said one woman in attendance who heard the announcement, "But if Pavarotti gets into it, maybe I'll give it another look." Others were clearly put off by the idea. "I'm just beside myself," said music critic Martin Bernheimer, "I was able to accept that he was leaving the stage. But this, this is just a disaster."

Why the singer kept his decision a secret until his announcement after Saturday's performance is unknown. "We don't have secrets," said Pavarotti's agent Terry Robson, "We talk about everything. But he didn't say a word about this one. I was as surprised as anyone. But," he added, "There is already immense interest in him. Playing on his size and age, I'm thinking about calling him 'LP Big'."

The other members of "The Three Tenors" -- Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo -- did not return calls for comment.
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