After a meeting this morning of La Scala's board of directors, the future of Alexander Pereira at Milan's Opera House remains uncertain.
Within a week we will make our decision,
said Giuliano Pisapia, Milan's Mayor and also head of the board.
Pereira should take over from Stéphane Lissner as sovrintendente of La Scala in October, but his appointment was questioned after it was revealed that Pereira had essentially sold his own productions to himself: opera productions from the Salzburg Festival, which he currently runs, being sold to Milan, leading to the suspicion that he was trying to balance the Salzburg books before leaving.
However, with the important new season which coincides with the Milan 2015 Expo looming , it is presumed that it is too complicated and too late to find an alternative to Pereira: the official announcement of the 2014-2015 season scheduled for this Thursday has been postponed. Voices however talk about reducing the length of Pereira's contract or docking his pay as a suitable slap on the wrist.
Matteo Salvini, the leader of the Lega Nord (Northern League) party was photographed outside La Scala today with a bag full of plastic for recycling saying that Pereira was doing the same with his Salzburg productions, by recycling them in Milan. The fact that they are all productions which have been critical successes seems to have escaped him, but then we are under the European elections and it is a good way of getting at Milan's left-wing Mayor.
On a good note, the directors have approved the 2013 accounts which are balanced for the ninth year in a row, even with cuts in state and private funding of almost €8 million.
Lissner thanked all the theatre's workers and artists saying “I will miss you all”.
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.