May 18, 2010 / 2:35 PM / 9 years ago

Placido Domingo says in good health after surgery

DOHA (Reuters) - Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, who underwent colon cancer surgery in March, said he was feeling well and in good health after giving a performance of traditional Spanish music in Doha, Qatar last week.

Spanish tenor Placido Domingo performs during a free concert in front of the Angel of Independence Monument in Mexico City December 19, 2009. REUTERS/Eliana Aponte

“I’m lucky that the voice is there, so as long as I’m felling well, I’ll use it. My health is good,” he told Reuters in a recent interview.

The singer, one of the opera world’s biggest names, performed “Antologia de la Zarzuela,” a selection of traditional Spanish music he grew up with, for an enthusiastic audience of nearly 4,000 in Qatar, accompanied by musicians from the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

It was the second time he has performed in the Gulf state.

“For me, this music is my life. It’s the first music I ever heard in my life. Wherever I go in the world, I always bring the Zarzuela repertoire in my concerts. When I can do a program like this of just Zarzuela, it is even more special.”

The 69-year-old, who is also general director of the Los Angeles Opera, was back at work within weeks of surgery in New York to remove a malignant polyp from his colon.

Renowned for his prodigious work rate and living by the tenet “when I rest, I rust,” Domingo returned to the operatic stage a month ago in the baritone role of Simon Boccanegra at Milan’s La Scala.

He attributed his longevity to “a passion for what you do.”

The sole performer left of the famed “Three Tenors” after Luciano Pavarotti died of cancer in 2007 and Jose Carreras announced his retirement last year, Domingo said he did not have a favorite operatic role, although Otello came close.

“It’s difficult when you have so many roles to choose one,” he said.

“But one of the most difficult roles is Otello, because of the singing and acting, the dramatic piece of Verdi combined with Shakespearean drama. It is a very strong role, and I love it.”

Editing by Paul Casciato and Mike Collett-White

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