Monday, 19 November 2007

Strike threatens the season opening at La Scala: Chéreaus Tristan in danger of cancellation

The worker´s strike at the Scala opera in Milan is now threatening the 2007-8 Season opening on December 7th, featuring Patrice Chéreau and Daniel Barenboim´s new production of Tristan and Isolde. This will be Patrice Chéreau´s first Wagner production since the Ring in Bayreuth 1976, having turned down to offers to stage Tristan and Isolde there with Barenboim in the meantime - productions which then went to Ponnelle and Heiner Müller.

In a dispute over a new national collective agreement, the strike of the Scala employees have already led to cancellations of performances Verdi´s Requiem and Cosi Fan Tutte.

As I have a ticket for the 20th december, I am, as of now, quite calm. Perhaps the 20th December will in fact turn out to be the opening night..


daland said...

Actually no strike has been declared to affect the Tristan premiére.
Negotiation between LaScala workers (including the musicians) on the contract renewal issue are stalling since months, due to legal constraints, in turn dependent on political issues in Rome.
The workers unions' assembly decides periodically which initiatives to take, including strikes (like the ones of nov. 9 and 17, that led to the cancellation of Verdi's Requiem and Mozart's Così).
What will be decided for the Sant'Ambrogio premiére is still to be seen: it will depend on the management position, but also on the opinion of the different union's representatives and - in the end - on the vote of the workers' assembly.
It's unlikely that a strike will be decided just for the premiére (it would be counterproductive for everybody). The risk - in case the situation worsens - is that ALL the theater's performances (including Tristan) are canceled!
My personal feeling is that a solution "à l'italienne" will be eventually found, with some circuitous compromise.
(Barenboim has declared himself "nonpartisan", and will not interfere in any way)

daland said...

Late update on the issue:

this afternoon Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of the “Cultural Assets” Francesco Rutelli has issued a proposal (non-disclosed yet to the publicum at large) that has been sent to all Opera-House Managers and the Trade Unions.

In particular, in these moments LaScala workers are evaluating it.

We can easily guess it is a tipical compromise aimed to rescue all next premiéres, after that the one of yesterday at Genoa’s Carlo Felice has been cancelled due to a strike.

The average general impression is that they’ll be able to make it through... at least for the “Christmas season”.

Later in january, God knows what the future will be.

mostly opera... said...

Thanks for the updates. They are much appreciated. I just received my ticket by mail today...

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