Thursday, 30 October 2014

How to make a story out of relatively little

Two days ago, veteran director Franco Zeffirelli said he'd sue La Scala for letting his production of Aida go to Astana Opera Theatre in Kazakhstan. "Ho visto una sorta di vendetta da parte dei “cervelloni” della Scala che stanno pensando a me come un artista da dimenticare - (It's a vendetta by the brains at La Scala who think I'm an artist to forget). Read the articles in La Stampa here and in Corriere here.  Teatro alla Scala has countered with a fairly convincing refutation. Although  we don't know the exact terms of the deal, it's unlikely that Milan will have given up all rights. IIt might be able to do the production at a later date, and it hasn't sold off the rest of its Zefferelli catalogue. Inflammatory words make great headlines but reality is often more mundane.  For all we know, maybe Zeffirelli doesn't like Mrs Gelb conducting?  All over the world, the business is changing all round. The Royal Opera House relies on endless  La Bohèmes and La Traviatas because they sell well. Audiences new to opera adore them, but regulars get turned off. There isn't any such thing as a single audience. While some people want to see the exact same thing all the time, other's don't. And in any case, folks who like the same thing all the time can watch a DVD. How to strike a balance? That's the real question.

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