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Italy’s La Scala to open new season with Verdi classic

Don Carlo – Opening Night. —WWW.TEATROALLASCALA.ORG

MILAN — Milan’s La Scala theater will kick off its 2023-24 season in December with Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Don Carlo and plans to step up efforts to burnish its green credentials.

The opening night of the La Scala season has become a highlight of the calendar for the country’s business and political elite, coinciding with the city’s Feast of St. Ambrose holiday.

However, the staging of Russian work Boris Godunov on the opening night last December prompted protesters against the Ukrainian war to demonstrate outside the venue.

Verdi’s works have been performed at La Scala since 1839 and the choice of a historical work by a local favorite is likely to prove less contentious on Dec. 7.

Like other businesses, the opera house is struggling with sky-high energy bills after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

La Scala last year mitigated the impact by cutting consumption of gas and electricity by 22% and around 15% respectively, its artistic director Dominque Meyer said on Monday.

The theater has also switched to digital musical scores to reduce paper waste, installed more efficient LED-lights and will replace its windows this autumn to cut draughts.

Last year’s revenues from single shows were 25% higher compared with 2019 figures, Meyer said, adding international tourists represent 30% of the theater’s audience.

Topic tickets cost 250 euros ($275).

In its new season, La Scala will host 14 operas, seven ballets, as well as concerts featuring Italian conductor Riccardo Muti, Briton Daniel Harding, and Russian-born Kirill Petrenko. — Reuters

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