La Scala's opera season will open on December 7 with Don Carlo, which is "one of the great operas in the world repertoire," as superintendent Dominique Meyer pointed out, a sort of "Verdi Bible" to use the words of conductor Riccardo Chailly. It is no coincidence that this opera has opened La Scala eight times so far. And the version chosen (Verdi made at least five) is the one written specifically for the Milanese theater in 1884.
In short, it will be an inauguration that could not be more La Scala, even if this year the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella will not sit in the central box, applauded by the public in recent years, complete with a standing ovation and a request for an 'encore' when he was at the end of his first term. "Problems with the agenda," Meyer explained, "but the president has assured us that he will be back next year." There will be the second highest office of the state, the president of the Senate Ignazio La Russa, and also the deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini in addition to the minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano, who has asked for time until after December 7 to give the ministry's indications on the new leadership of La Scala, when the superintendent's contract expires in 2025. "I did a good job, let's hope for the best," said Meyer, who has received the support of Giacomo Campora, CEO and general manager of Allianz, but above all a member of the theater's board of directors, who considers it "essential that this superintendent is supported" now and for the future.
Allianz is one of the sponsors of the Premiere, which also includes BMW and Edison, which has been supplying power to the theater for 130 years (albeit today with a brief blackout during the presentation press conference). A premiere conducted by Chailly with a well-established cast, led by Anna Netrebko at her sixth inauguration, the bass Michele Pertusi, the baritone Luca Salsi and the tenor Francesco Meli. "I call them because they're the best," Meyer said, responding to criticism of their frequent presence. And they, together with the 'debutante' (but only on 7 December) Elina Garanca, explained the facets of the characters, the difficulty of singing. There are many themes in Don Carlo, the father-son relationship, requited and unrequited love, and the struggle for power. A drama that director Lluis Pasqual treated as a Shakespearean drama in which Don Carlo resembles the doubtful Hamlet. A "traditional direction with modern acting" summed up Salsi. "Verdi shows us the behind the scenes of power, we see the loneliness of the characters - explained the Spaniard - Now it is normal to see rulers almost in their underwear, in swimsuits on social media. It used to be that people only saw them engraved on coins." The Auto-Da-fé scene also shows the preparation of this "act of propaganda as the military parades of Russia and China, for example, still are." And in this clash of power between King Philip and the Grand Inquisitor, between secular and religious power, it is still relevant today, in conflicts for example in the Middle East: "there are two themes that we carry with us, two misfortunes of the world - underlined the director - nationalism and religion".
The opera is sold out not only for the premiere and youth preview on December 3, but also for practically all the other dates. Thanks to the filming, made for the first time in 4k by Rai Cultura, it will be possible to see it live on Rai 1, streaming on Raiplay (and all over the world on the Medicitv platform), in various foreign televisions and also in cinemas in Italy and abroad. The event will be fully accessible to blind and visually impaired people through live audio description, thanks to Rai Pubblica Utilità.
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