La Scala Workers Say Negotiations Will Not Continue Until Meli Resigns

Classic Arts News   La Scala Workers Say Negotiations Will Not Continue Until Meli Resigns
The workers at Milan's Teatro alla Scala have called for the resignation of general manager Mauro Meli, the Italian web site Tgcom reports.

Until Meli resigns, the workers say, negotiations with Bruno Ferrante, the city's prefect, will not continue. Since the crisis at La Scala began in February, precipitated by the replacement of general manager Carlo Fontana with Meli, the workers have been on strike for every season premiere at the theater.

Ferrante is scheduled to meet with the workers' union on April 6.

The workers had also called for the resignation of music director Riccardo Muti, who stepped down on April 2. Muti and Fontana had a charged, difficult relationship, and frequently disagreed over how La Scala should be run. The theater's workers—including musicians, chorus members, and designers—suspected that Muti was responsible for Fontana's departure.

Meli has said he is willing to resign, although he has not actually done so.

After an emergency meeting on April 3 with the board of La Scala, Meli said he would resign if his departure were the only thing that would resolve the crisis. He speculated that the workers' next request might be the resignation of the board.

Meli was Muti's choice for the position, which may have left him without enough influence to direct La Scala. "If I resign," he said, "perhaps [the board] can find a more authoritative superintendent."

The board will consider Meli's postion over the next two weeks.

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