Teatro alla Scala to Reopen Early Following Two-Year Renovation

The Associated Press is reporting that after a three year "exile," La Scala opera company will return to its newly renovated theater in Milan in time for the company's opening date of December 7.

In fact, the revamping was reportedly completed several weeks ahead of schedule allowing maestro Riccardo Muti additional time for rehearsals of the company's opening production: Antonio Salieri's Europa Riconosciuta, the same opera that inaugurated La Scala's first season in 1778.

"Muti tested acoustics of the 'new' La Scala with a 40-minute rehearsal last week, and theater officials reported that the maestro broke into an applause at the end to express his satisfaction with the sound quality," writes Piero Valsecchi of the AP.

''It was very emotional to return to your home after a long absence and find it more splendid and more welcoming than before,'' Muti is quoted as saying.

The Milan government reportedly approved and financed the $67 million renovation. The project started in 2002.

"The renovation - which preservationists went to court in a vain attempt to block - added storage and service space behind the stage and stripped away carpeting and linoleum to reveal Venetian marble floors in the corridors and terra cotta tiles in the boxes," writes Valsecchi.

Additionally, La Scala has now been outfitted with surtitle screens that will allow operagoers to follow the opera's libretto in English, French or Italian.

More information can be found at the Miami Herald and Teatro alla Scala

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Current Issue: January 2015 — VOL. 79, NO. 6