Milan Mayor Appoints Mediator for La Scala Crisis

Classic Arts News   Milan Mayor Appoints Mediator for La Scala Crisis
Bruno Ferrante, a Milan city official, has been appointed to mediate the dispute between Teatro alla Scala's management and the unions representing its workers, the New York Times reports.

Ferrante, appointed by Gabriele Albertini, the mayor of Milan mayor and chair of La Scala, is expected to meet with the union today.

It is hoped that Ferrante can resolve the crisis that has La Scala workers striking and calling for the resignation of music director Riccardo Muti. The trouble began when La Scala's governors fired general manager Carlo Fontana on February 24 and replaced him with Mauro Meli, La Scala's former theatrical director and Muti's favorite for the position. La Scala's workers, fearing that the organization was veering toward privatization dictated by Muti, vowed to go on strike for all of the company's premieres until Fontana was rehired. A number of performances have been canceled as a result.

Muti has since refused to continue conducting, citing "the atmosphere created by the insinuations, the insults, and the incomprehension." A rumor that Muti had already resigned was denied by La Scala, and Giuliano Urbani, Italy's culture minister, said that the departure of Muti was to be avoided "in every possible way."

On March 18, many of the orchestra's musicians performed a free concert, sans Muti, at Milan's conservatory. According to Sandro Malateseta, La Scala trumpeter and union representative, the concert was "to let the city know about our problems."

According to the London Times, Covent Garden's Antonio Pappano and Daniele Gatti of Bologna's Teatro Comunale are rumored to be possible successors to Muti.

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