The conductor says he's quit as honorary music director of the Rome Opera "with great sorrow" after six years.
Never mind pop music, we're talking Pope music - and it seems the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergolio is a particular fan of opera.
As Pope Francis begins his new role as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, New York's Cardinal Edward Egan has revealed the pontiff has a penchant for opera. Speaking after the announcement of the election result, Cardinal Egan described the new Bishop of Rome as a 'wonderful man', before revealing his passion for the genre.
"I sent him a couple of Metropolitan Opera recordings," he said. "He's a great follower of our opera here in New York and I always say, 'When are you going to come and stay with me? We'll see something in New York.' He's a wonderful gentleman."
No doubt his mastery of languages helps in his understanding of the greatest operatic works. He may be the first non-European Pope in more than 1200 years, but His Holiness speaks French, Italian, English and German, as well as his native Spanish.