Though no special anniversary, Google users in Italy today are seeing a Google Doodle to commemorate the “238th Anniversary of the inauguration of Teatro Alla Scala”. Inside the second ‘O' is a view of La Scala's famous auditorium with the curtains open and a single ballerina dancing onstage with a backcloth, seeming to depict the Alps, behind her. Well, on a clear day you can see the Alps from Milan. The theatre is empty, but the black-haired ballerina (Carla Fracci, Alessandra Ferri?) carries on regardless.
The mini-Doodle, used at the top-left of the search page, has the lone dancer in place of the ‘O'. It is interesting that they chose a dancer and not an opera singer to be onstage.
Here are Google's words as to why they gave La Scala a Doodle:
Bellini's Norma. Verdi's Otello and Falstaff. Puccini's Turandot. All classics from opera's golden age – and all works that debuted at the Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, a masterpiece itself since its inauguration in 1778.
Today's Doodle honors La Scala's legendary stage, known both for its size and the distinction of its players. The opera house's treasured halls have hosted some of the world's most inspirational opera, ballet, and classical performances over its long existence. Seating more than 2,000 people, its theater has survived both a WWII bombing and restorative construction, continuing to pack houses and delight audiences for some 238 years.
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.