An artist renowned for never cancelling, international tenor Placido Domingo has had to withdraw from the Royal Opera's forthcoming production of Handel's Tamerlano due to illness.

After being in physical discomfort and lower abdominal pain for over a week during performances in Tokyo, Domingo decided to return to New York for a complete physical check-up. According to his representative, Nancy Seltzer, "his doctors have determined that he needs to undergo ‘medically recommended preventive surgery’. After surgery they will have a better idea when he'll return to his performing schedule. It is hoped that it will be in about six weeks."

Although it is not customary policy, in recognition of the withdrawal of such an exceptional artist in a rarely-performed opera, the Royal Opera House will be contacting all ticket holders with details of a 20% credit note.

Leading American tenor Kurt Streit, who was originally due to sing the role of Bajazet on 13 and 17 March, will now sing all performances beginning on 5 March.

Streit made his debut at the Royal Opera House as Ferrando (Così fan tutte) in 1992 and returned to sing the role in 1997. Other roles with The Royal Opera have included Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Cassio (Otello), Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) and Boris Grigorjevič (Káťa Kabanová). He is currently performing the role of Marquis in Prokofiev's The Gambler. This is his debut in the role of Bajazet.

The rest of the cast remains unchanged with Christianne Stotijn in the title role, Christine Schäfer and Sarah Fox as Asteria on 5, 8, 11, 15, 20 March and 13 and 17 March respectively, Sara Mingardo as Andronico, Renata Pokupic as Irene and Vito Priante as Leone. Ivor Bolton conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in all performances.