The singer, 82, has written a letter of apology to the Mayor of Verona and the artistic director of the Arena, apologising for two poor performances as baritone and conductor.
He writes: ‘I thank all the professors in the orchestra, especially those who did not stand up at the final applause of Turandot: They love their job and they love the Arena, and I think that’s what they meant with their gesture. A gesture that, I am not going to hide it, hurt me a lot, but as a musician I feel it was an act of respect towards the artistic level that the Arena represents.’
He goes on to say: ‘Next year will be the centenary of the Verona Arena festival. My only wish is to bring to life a show that is a tribute to all of you and to your extraordinary history’.