July 11th, 2005


La Scala

weather: rainshower
outside: 18.6°C
mood: musical
I was listening to CBC Radio 2 on Saturday afternoon and they were doing a feature on the newly restored Teatro alla Scala in Milan. It was shut down in 2002 and reopened at the end of 2004 for restoration and renovation to the tune of EUR 61 million (USD 74 million; CAD 90 million; AUD 99 million; GBP 42 million).

It's very fitting that the opening production was Antonio Salieri's L'Europa Riconosciuta (Europa Recognized). It's a lesser known work of his, but it was the inaugural performance for the first opening of La Scala back in 1778. And it was supposedly very innovative for its time — two pairs of leads, a much larger role for the chorus, the dramatic opening with the violent storm on the high seas, lightning and thunder, etc.

Salieri is a great composer in his own right and deserves to be known for more than just "Mozart's jealous villain antagonist"... which he really wasn't, despite what Peter Shaffer says. *eyeroll*

I probably won't be able to get to Milan soon enough to see it. And even if I had the means, I'd probably be fighting myself over going to that or going to Covent Garden to see Ben Heppner in Turandot in 2006. But I'm sure that there will be something fantastic going on whenever I can haul myself over to Italy.

In the meantime, I might post something to classical_music and opera to ask if there's an album with some of the arias... I really don't expect there to be a full recording of it out there.