Milan's opera opens season with 'Don Carlo'

The infamous opera house, seemingly undampened by crisis times, opened its season on Dec. 7. La Scala's performance of Giuseppe Verdi's "Don Carlos" drew the usual collection of celebrity spectators but with a last-minute role change.


AFP - Milan's La Scala opera house opened its season Sunday with Verdi's "Don Carlo" and an audience torn between attending the show in glamorous attire or in modest habit befitting the financial crisis.

Under the baton of Daniele Gatti, American tenor Stuart Neil sang the title role, replacing Giuseppe Filianoti who was initially billed for the part.

The change was announced in a brief statement without explanation.

But La Scala's general director Stephane Lissner said Sunday: "Our responsibility before the world is the best," in remarks carried by the ANSA news agency.

The opening, traditionally held on the December 7, the feast day of Milan's patron, Saint Amboise, drew a hodgepodge of personalities, ranging from the presidents of Rwanda and Togo, to Italian ministers and Dolce & Gabbana designers.

Meanwhile, a group of students, teachers and parents protested outside the theatre against government education reforms.

La Scala's musicians called off a strike last week that would have disrupted the opening performance after reaching an agreement with management on their pay.

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