La Scala cancels opener due to chorister strike

Posted on: December 21, 2012

Thursday (12/20) on the Los Angeles Times blog Culture Monster, David Ng reports, “James Conlon, the music director of Los Angeles Opera, was in Milan, Italy, this week to conduct the opening-night ballet performance of Hector Berlioz’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at La Scala. But as things sometimes happen in Italy, Wednesday’s big opening was canceled due to a strike by members of the chorus. … The new production of Berlioz’s piece features choreography by Sasha Waltz and is a co-production between La Scala, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Opéra National de Paris. The production reportedly has been beset with problems, starting with protests from dancers who said the raked stage was causing them physical pain. Raked stages, which are angled up and away from the audience, are sometimes used in theater and operatic productions for dramatic effect or to allow performers at the back of the stage to be better seen by the audience. … Meanwhile, some of the choristers were upset at having to appear on stage in costume and having to move in time with the music, according to a report in The Guardian. The British newspaper reports that the choristers who are affected are demanding a bonus, but the management of the company has refused.”

Posted December 21, 2012