And it's not just down to a dicky tummy this time either.
It was announced last December that Riccardo Muti was to become Opera di Roma's new music director, starting with the 2010-11 season.
But now, according to a report in Il Messaggero, the maestro has done an about-face. Apparently, he's unwilling to take over "at a time when the regulatory framework is not the most reassuring", as the paper delicately alludes to Berlusconi's slash'n'burn opera house reform measures. Even more to the point, the cash-strapped Romans wouldn't or couldn't step up to his reported 2 million euro annual salary demand.
But the game may not be over yet. Muti's entirely coincidental return to Milan for medical treatment puts him in the ideal position, geographically at least, for further discussions. That's unless - and we all hope not - there's a more serious medical reason behind his dramatic retreat from Chicago.
(thanks to Maria for the advice)