La Scala would lose €50,000 a day if it reopened, complying with the social distancing guidelines imposed by the law passed on 17 May.
The opera house's new intendant, Dominique Meyer, will present the administration's calculations to the theatre's board meeting on Thursday. As of now, Meyer estimates that the coronavirus lockdown has cost the theatre €20 million since it was closed on 25 February.
“It will be difficult to find an equilibrium between costs and income,” said Meyer. “I think that next year will be even more difficult because the current welfare programmes will no longer exist, so our costs will return as they were with less money coming in.”
The government have announced that cinemas and theatres can reopen from 15 June, but with the requirements that the law imposes, La Scala's 2,000-seat theatre could only hold 200 people, including the performers. Each person present would need an empty one-metre space around them.
Verdi's Requiem, announced in April to ‘reopen' La Scala in September will probably go ahead as it is planned to be performed in Milan's Duomo which is the largest church in Italy (and the fourth largest in the world), but the planned performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony at La Scala is unlikely to happen as the orchestral players, chorus members and soloists would already take up the 200-person limit (firemen, technicians, and ushers would also come out of this number).
In its 242 year history, the theatre has closed six times – twice, just for a day.
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.