Paris Strike Forces Postponement of Saariaho World Premiere

Classic Arts News   Paris Strike Forces Postponement of Saariaho World Premiere
A workers' strike forced the Paris Opera to postpone the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho's Adriana Mater last night, Bloomberg News reports.

The labor action was part of a lengthy campaign against cutbacks in unemployment benefits for part-time performing-art workers. The protests forced the cancellation of several arts festivals in the summer of 2003 and disrupted the Cannes Film Festival in 2004.

The strike is unrelated to the nationwide protests, involving hundreds of thousands of people, against a new labor law making it easier for employers to fire people under the age of 26 in the first two years of a contract.

The performance was called off a few hours before it was due to take place, "despite long negotiations'' with unions, Bloomberg said, citing an e-mail received by ticket-holders.

Adriana Mater, the Finnish composer's second opera, follows the story of a young woman who falls pregnant after being raped in a fictionalized Balkan country. Saariaho's first opera, L'Amour de Loin, a story of cross cultural love, debuted at the Salzburg Festival in 2000.

The premiere of Adriana Mater is now scheduled for April 3, according to the Associated Press.

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