Italians upset by La Scala’s decision to kick off season with German composer Wagner and not local hero Verdi – News – Classical – The Independent
Richard Wagner‘s Lohengrin kicks off La Scala‘s season on Friday with the renowned Milanese theatre under fire for choosing the German maestro over local hero Giuseppe Verdi on the biggest night of the year for the world of opera.
With opera lovers around the globe preparing to celebrate the 200th birthday of both composers, born a few months apart in 1813, La Scala has been accused of being unpatriotic at a time when Italy battles a recession some blame on austerity policies driven by Germany.
“La Scala puts Verdi in a corner, preferring the German,” wrote il Giornale newspaper owned by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi‘s family and known for its vitriolic attacks on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Corriere della Sera said there was unease in the orchestra pit over the choice of Wagner in Verdi’s musical home and talked of “a blow to national pride in a moment of crisis.”
La Scala general manager Stephane Lissner, a Frenchman, has dismissed the controversy as ridiculous.
“There are more serious problems than this Wagner-Verdi derby,” he told reporters this week, pointing out that the theatre will stage six works by Wagner against eight by Verdi in the 2012/13 season.
The actress Anita Ekberg will be 80 this week and has given an interview to the Italian paper Corriere Della Sera. In it, she claims that La Dolce Vita was not a great movie and that she was essentially the best thing in it, while Mastroianni was a nobody who smoked and drank too much.
In fact, this is not the first time she has made this kind of comments, as this interview from 2010 on Italian TV shows.
After all that bad blood, we thought it might be nice to go back and look at happier times between the two, and not so long ago, either, namely, the meeting in Fellini‘s L’Intervista from 1987. The subtitles are in French, which may or may not help you …
Strange Random La Dolce Vita Quote:
You are the first woman on the first day of creation. You are mother, sister, lover, friend, angel, devil, earth, home. – Marcello Rubini
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