Protesting of arts budget cuts accompanies La Scala opener

Posted on: December 8, 2010

In Wednesday’s (12/8) Guardian (Londona), John Hooper reports, “Police and protesters tonight clashed violently outside La Scala, as the conductor Daniel Barenboim also took advantage of the Milan opera house’s gala first night to protest against cuts in Italy’s culture budget. At least 10 police officers and an unknown number of demonstrators were taken to hospital after the skirmishes in which two home-made bombs were detonated. Smoke bombs and teargas were used during the clash. … On this occasion many protesters were demonstrating against cuts in culture spending in the 2011 budget drawn up by Silvio Berlusconi’s government, which was being voted on in Rome as the premiere got under way. … Barenboim was made principal guest conductor of La Scala four years ago, with the title of maestro scaligero. Before raising his baton at the start of Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), the Israeli conductor turned to Italy’s president, Giorgio Napolitano, who was in the audience, and said: ‘For that title, and also in the names of the colleagues who play, sing, dance and work, not only here but in all theatres, I am here to tell you we are deeply worried for the future of culture in the country and in Europe.’ ”

Posted December 8, 2010