King Charles Steps Out in London for Longtime Hobby After Resuming Public Duties amid Cancer News

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The King reconnected with Sir Antonio Pappano, who helmed the Coronation Orchestra last year

<p>Isabel Infantes-WPA Pool/Getty</p> King Charles on May 16

Isabel Infantes-WPA Pool/Getty

King Charles on May 16

King Charles is having a night out in London.

The King, 75, stepped out at the Royal Opera House on Thursday, May 16, to attend a special gala performance organized in tribute to Sir Antonio Pappano, the opera house’s outgoing music director. Pappano conducted the Coronation Orchestra at the crowning of King Charles and Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey in May 2023, and Thursday night's tribute saluted his 22-year tenure as music director of the Royal Opera House.

The evening of entertainment featured performances by opera artists and musicians Aigul Akhmetshina, Jonas Kaufmann, Sir Bryn Terfel (who performed at the Coronation Concert in Windsor last year), the Royal Opera Chorus and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. The artists brought to life "much-loved arias and music from Sir Antonio’s repertoire at the Royal Opera House," a statement said.

When the special show came to a close, King Charles joined Pappano on stage and met some of the performers.

<p>Isabel Infantes-WPA Pool/Getty </p> King Charles and Antonio Pappano, Music Director at the Royal Opera House, on May 16

Isabel Infantes-WPA Pool/Getty

King Charles and Antonio Pappano, Music Director at the Royal Opera House, on May 16

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Pappano became a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in the latest New Year Honours list for conducting the Coronation Orchestra, and it was significant for the King to be at the Gala performance held in his honor.

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King Charles recently resumed public-facing duties while receiving cancer treatment, a diagnosis that Buckingham Palace announced on Feb. 5. The monarch has spoken several times about his health during his outings since, telling a patient at the Macmillan Cancer Centre at the University College Hospital London on April 30 (his first work outing since the announcement of the diagnosis), "It’s always a bit of shock when they tell you," according to Rebecca English of the Daily Mail.

Related: King Charles and Queen Camilla Return to St. Paul's Cathedral for Service After Missing Prince Harry’s Event

During his ceremonial handover of the honorary colonelcy of the Army Air Corps to Prince William on May 13, King Charles mentioned experiencing a "loss of taste" during his treatment in a conversation with British Army veteran Aaron Mapplebeck, The Sun reported.

When the palace announced the monarch’s return to forward-facing duties on April 26, a spokesperson described his treatment as ongoing and shared a positive sentiment from his doctors.

"His Majesty’s treatment program will continue, but doctors are sufficiently pleased with the progress made so far that The King is now able to resume a number of public-facing duties. Forthcoming engagements will be adapted where necessary to minimize any risks to His Majesty’s continued recovery," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.

<p>Isabel Infantes-WPA Pool/Getty</p> King Charles on May 16

Isabel Infantes-WPA Pool/Getty

King Charles on May 16

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King Charles is known to have a keen personal interest in the arts and was patron or president of over 20 performing arts organizations, including the Royal Opera, before his accession upon Queen Elizabeth’s death in September 2022.

"The King and Queen regularly attend theatre and opera performances and symphony concerts, sometimes as part of a fundraising event and sometimes in a private capacity," the royal family’s website says.

Amid the review of nearly 1,000 royal patronages and charity presidencies following Queen Elizabeth’s death and King Charles’ accession, it was confirmed that the King will retain his patronages of the Royal Opera House and The Royal Opera.

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