Lawmakers are concerned that the disputes and strikes are affecting one of the country's cultural treasures. Albertina Solani, one of the senators who requested the investigation, said, "It's incomprehensible that Milan's La Scala—one of the most important theaters, not only in Italy but also in the world—has become the object of individual strategies linked to economic interest groups, hurting its prestige."
The inquiry will begin tomorrow at the senate in Rome, where testimony will be given on the events leading up to the strikes and the senators will examine the theater's management and administration.
The strikes are the result of the decision to fire Carlo Fontana, the theater's longtime superintendent, because of his disagreements with chief conductor Riccardo Muti. The union that represents the striking workers accused Muti of undermining Fontana, and is also concerned that the theater is not sharing information about finances or listening to the workers' concerns.
Fontana was replaced with Mauro Meli, former director of La Scala's theatrical division.
Because of the strikes, the March 4 premiere of the ballet Europa, which combines works by Angelin Preljocaj, Christopher Wheeldon, and Jacopo Godani, was canceled, as were all the performances of Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades and Hindemith's Sancta Susanna, which was to be performed with Il dissoluto assoluto, a new take on the Don Juan story by Azio Corghi, with a libretto by Jos_ Saramago.
Workers have pledged to strike for each premiere at at the theater.