Antonio Pappano Cancels Chicago Appearance to Fill in for Muti

Classic Arts News   Antonio Pappano Cancels Chicago Appearance to Fill in for Muti
Antonio Pappano, the music director of the Royal Opera House, will miss a series of concerts with the Chicago Symphony next month when he steps in for conductor Riccardo Muti, who has withdrawn from a production of Verdi's La forza del destino at the ROH.

Muti and director Hugo de Ana withdrew last week from the Verdi production‹which had been imported from the Milan opera house La Scala‹over what the Royal Opera said were minor changes to the original set.

Pappano was to lead the CSO in seven performances, including three with cellist Han-Na Chang and three with pianist Daniel Barenboim, from October 13-23. The orchestra has not yet named his replacement.

According to the New York Times, Pappano will also miss a recording session and a concert with the Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra in Milan.

In a statement, ROH chief executive Tony Hall said, "Antonio Pappano has postponed a number of important international concerts and recordings with many distinguished colleagues in order to prepare the cast and orchestra and to conduct all performances. I know that this has not been an easy decision for Tony and is a tribute to his commitment to the company, the production, and our audiences."

Meanwhile, the London Independent reports that La Scala has challenged the Royal Opera's version of events. In a statement last week, ROH officials said that they had initiated negotiations over changes to the set with Muti and de Ana early this year and were "perplexed" by Muti's "last-minute" withdrawal. But La Scala, which has demanded that its name be removed from the production, said that it was not until September 6 that the London company said that the original sets could not be used for safety reasons.

The walls of the set in the La Scala production were made of metal, and were apparently too heavy to be safely lifted by the Royal Opera's backstage machinery. The ROH proposed replacing them with cloth covered in paint.

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