Milan Mayor, Giuliano Pisapia, who is head of the Board of Directors at La Scala, announced today that they were offering Alexander Pereira only a year's contract as sovrintendente of Milan's Opera House. It is not known what Pereira himself thinks of the offer or, indeed, if he'll accept.
The decision comes after the storm over him selling Salzburg Festival productions, which he currently runs, to La Scala, where he was due to take over later this year on a 5-year contract. It is suspected that he was trying to cover debts in Salzburg, and justifying the move as buying in productions at bargain prices for Milan.
As next year Milan will host the Expo 2015, it was too late to find a new sovrintendente at this time; the new ‘Expo' season should have been announced at a press conference today. The conference has been postponed.
There is no doubt that Pereira went beyond his powers.
After all, his contract hasn't yet started, yet he was writing letters to Salzburg on La Scala notepaper. Therefore the Board of Directors has said that he can stay until 31 December 2015.
Pereira will then be removed, and we will decide what's best to do. Of course, we would be in serious difficulty to immediately find a replacement, so this is the solution we've come up with.
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.