La Scala sovrintendente Stephane Lissner, on announcing that Daniel Barenboim will leave his post as musical director from 1 January 2015 – two years before the end of his contract – said that it will mark the “end of an era”.
It will allow Barenboim to conduct Fidelio which will open the 2014-2015 season on 7 December 2014, and accompany for a few months Alexander Pereira, who takes over from Lissner in September 2014. There is still discussion as to who will take over Barenboim's post, with Riccardo Chailly being named as a frontrunner, and it is Chailly who will conduct Turandot on 1 May 2015 to open the La Scala's season for the Milan Expo.
Lissner also commented on the law on Cultural Values which penalises theatres such as La Scala which has many private sponsors.
From the time of Toscanini in 1933 onwards we've tried to convince the government that we should be autonomous. It's one of the first times that the state subsidy dwindles yet they still want to keep it as a state theatre. In 2012 the private sponsors gave €43 million, ticket sales produced €32 million, while the state gave €28 million. Who dares to say that the state keeps La Scala afloat needs only to look at the first two figures.
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.