In honour of Claudio Abbado, Milan's Teatro alla Scala will stream a live event for the first time, an event which has a particular importance for the theatre, and a symbolic one for the music world. On Monday 27 January, at 6 pm, the funeral march (Adagio assai) from Beethoven's 3rd Symphony, the Eroica, will be performed to an empty theatre with open doors, in recognition of the greatness of Abbado, its Music Director between 1968 and 1986.
The theatre's current Music Director, Daniel Barenboim, will conduct the La Scala Philharmonic, and, although the auditorium will remain empty, the piazza outside will be full off those wishing to pay their last respects to the great conductor. Others wishing to participate in this poignant event, can follow it on the internet sites of La Scala, the Scala Philharmonic, and Rai Television. It will also be broadcast live on the Rai5 channel.
Abbado was lying in state in a church in Bologna, the city that Abbado called home from 2014, for two days after his death last Monday. At midnight on Wednesday, the doors of the church were closed to the public, and there was a private funeral with orchestral music from the Orchestra Mozart, which Abbado formed in the city a decade ago, and during which Abbado's ex-companion, Russian violinist Viktoria Mullova, played Bach's Chaconne.
Milan's Mayor, Giuliano Pisapia, has promised that Abbado's project to plant 90,000 trees in Milan – devised with architect Renzo Piano – will now be realised.
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.