Programming – with an audience present in the auditorium – continues from 17 May with a concert by Daniel Harding. The calendar also includes a recital by Marianne Crebassa on 6 June, an evening of dance from 9 June, a recital by Maurizio Pollini on 25 June, and two operas.
After this week’s reopening to the public with concerts conducted by Riccardo Chailly and Riccardo Muti, La Scala’s programming continues in May and June with a full calendar of live and streamed events.
The current layout of the auditorium with the stalls covered to create space for the orchestra to be distanced will be modified during June to allow for seating in the stalls. The capacity for the performances is 500 spectators (in an opera house that can house more than 2,000), and performances will need to begin earlier to allow spectators to return home before the 10 pm curfew.
Audience members who are seated in one of La Scala’s boxes will find a card on the door summarising the history of the box they are occupying with the names of the families to whom it belonged. The texts were prepared by Professor Franco Pulcini who researched the exhibition Nei palchi della Scala at La Scala’s museum during the 2019-2020 season.
Performances with a live audience
The first live event is the concert of the Filarmonica della Scala conducted by Daniel Harding on Monday 17 May, with a programme consisting of the Overture from Freischütz and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9. Harding has strong ties to La Scala, and he will also be conducting the Nozze di Figaro on stage from 26 June. The concert will also be streamed on the theatre’s online channels.
On Tuesday 25 May, Ottavio Dantone will conduct Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri in Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s well-loved staging that opened the 1973/74 season. This is the only comic opera ever to have opened the opera and ballet season. 30-year-old Cecilia Molinari, who attended the Accademia Rossiniana in Pesaro and has established herself as one of the most interesting voices in this repertoire, makes her La Scala debut as Isabella. With her is Carlo Lepore as Mustafà, Maxim Mironov as Lindoro, and Taddeo is Marco Filippo Romano.
The performance was intended for online streaming until the possibility to reopen theatres was recently announced, so the theatre has decided to open it up to an Under-30s audience, who will have access to the galleries for just €20. The performance will be broadcast live in stereo by RAI Radio Tre.
Marianne Crebassa, who has sung Lucio Silla, Le nozze di Figaro, L’enfant et les sortilèges, Tamerlano, and La Cenerentola at the theatre will be back on June 6 with Alphonse Cemin at the piano for a recital which will also be streamed.
Dance returns in front of an audience on Wednesday 9, Thursday 10 and Friday 11 June at 7 pm with an evening dedicated to four choreographers. For the first time in La Scala’s programming the names András Lukács and Jiří Bubeníček appear. Lukács’ Movements to Stravinsky was created in 2017 and based on a selection of extracts from ballets and orchestral pieces by Igor Stravinsky; this year marks the 50th anniversary of his death. Bubeníček’s Canon in D Major is for a male trio on Pachelbel’s Canon in D major and taken from his longer piece created for Zurich Ballet in 2007 called Le souffle de l’esprit. With these debuts is Concerto DSCH, Alexei Ratmansky’s ballet already seen at La Scala, and a new, expanded version of Verdi Suite, a ballet created by company director Manuel Legris for the opening gala of the season on 7 December 2020. Kevin Rhodes will conduct La Scala’s Orchestra.
On Friday 25 June Maurizio Pollini, a regular presence at the theatre makes a welcome return. This will be the first performance with seating in the stalls.
Harding, who has conducted a performance for the opening of the season, six operas and many concerts in Milan and on tour, conducts the performances planned as a tribute to the great director Giorgio Strehler on the centenary of his birth. His much-loved Nozze di Figaro can be seen on Saturday 26 and Tuesday 29 June and on 2 July. The production was created for Paris in a problematic collaboration between the director and Georg Solti; it has been regularly revived at La Scala since 1981. Luca Michieletti, born in 1985, makes his La Scala debut as Figaro after a successful career working as an actor and theatre director. Susanna will be played by Rosa Feola, the Countess is Julia Kleiter, Simon Keenlyside returns to this production for the third time as the Count, and Bulgarian mezzo-soprano Svetlina Stoyanova will make her theatre debut singing Cherubino.
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.