Fancy being at the opening night to see Anna Netrebko in Andrea Chénier, the opera which opens La Scala's 2017-2018 season? Well, the best seat in the house will set you back €3,000. But hurry, in just a few hours the theatre has almost sold out. All the most expensive seats have already gone, though there are a handful of seats in the fourth-tier side-boxes at just €2,100! Opening night seats have gone up 20% since last year. Many have, unsurprisingly, been snapped up by Russians booking online to see their top soprano.
La Scala's opulent opening night – attended by Presidents, Prime Ministers, film stars and starlets – is, of course, a special event. A couple of days later you get the same cast, same production and same seat for a little over €250.
Until recently, the first night price hike went towards the extravagant floral decorations and filled the theatre's coffers, but recently a substantial part is handed over to the city council for charitable causes.
Mario Martone's new production of Andrea Chénier sees Riccardo Chailly on the podium with Netrebko's new husband, Yusif Eyvazov, in the title role and also making his house debut. Luca Salsi is the baritone.
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.