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LONDON (Reuters) - Spanish tenor Placido Domingo is to undergo "preventive surgery" after suffering abdominal pain while performing in Tokyo and is expected to be out of action for about six weeks, London's Royal Opera House said on Monday.
The 69-year-old, one of the opera world's biggest draws who also conducts, has been forced to withdraw from the role of Bajazet in Handel's "Tamerlano" at Covent Garden in London which he was scheduled to sing on March 5, 8, 11, 15 and 20.
"After being in physical discomfort and lower abdominal pain for over a week during his performances in Tokyo, Placido Domingo decided to return to New York for a complete physical check-up," the British opera company said in a statement.
"According to his representative, Nancy Seltzer, his doctors have determined that he needs to undergo 'medically recommended preventive surgery'," it added.
"After surgery they will have a better idea when Domingo will return to his performing schedule. It is hoped that it will be in about six weeks." According to the New York Times, Seltzer declined to characterize the nature of the surgery, saying only that it would take place in New York.
The Royal Opera House took the unusual step of paying ticket holders back 20 percent of the value of their purchase in the form of a credit note "in recognition of the withdrawal of such an exceptional artist in a rarely performed opera."
Domingo will be replaced by U.S. tenor Kurt Streit, who was originally due to sing the role of Bajazet on March 13 and 17.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Tim Pearce