A much-anticipated exchange between the Vienna Opera and Milan's Teatro alla Scala will go ahead despite earlier fears it might be cancelled because of a strike.
Two unions at the Milan opera house – Cgil and Uil – had threatened to strike tomorrow, because of proposed changes to staff contracts announced earlier this year, thereby cancelling the performance by the Vienna State Opera. But after talks with the management, the trade unionists agreed not to go ahead with the protest action.
Tomorrow's performances mark a renewal in traditional exchanges between La Scala and the Vienna Staatsoper. The last exchange between the two world-famous opera houses – both currently led by Frenchmen: Stephane Lissner in Milan and Dominique Meyer in Vienna – goes back to 1956 when the Staatsoper's Herbert von Karajan invited soprano Maria Callas and La Scala's orchestra to perform “Lucia di Lammermoor” in Vienna.
La Scala will perform Verdi's “Requiem” under conductor Daniel Barenboim, with Violeta Urmana, Daniela Barcellona, Rolando Villazón and Alexander Vinogradov
The Vienna Staatsoper brings Beethoven's “Fidelio” to Milan, with a cast including Peter Seiffert and Nina Stemme. Franz Welser-Möst conducts.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.