Daniel Barenboim, music director of La Scala, among so many other things, on Sunday brought the entire orchestra on stage for the standing ovation at the end of the evening—the most glittering event on the culture calendar, attended by leading figures of Italian industry, fashion and politics, AP reported.
“I am deeply happy for this evening and for all of these years. An evening like this doesn’t come out of nowhere, ” Barenboim later said, adding, “I feel that all we have done since 2005 had a guiding line and arrived at the point where we are today. Everyone — the singers, the soloists, the chorus, the orchestra — everyone was truly stupendous.”
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Italian Premier Matteo Renzi and President Giorgio Napolitano did not attend this year’s gala performance, fearing protesters outside the house. Nevertheless, demonstrators threw flares, eggs and vegetables at riot police. At least one police officer was injured.
The protests were targeted at recent labor reforms that make it easier for employers to fire workers. The rally pointed at the glitzy La Scala show as a perfect example of the haves having, at the expense of the have nots.
According to AP, Barenboim’s departure comes after a change of management at La Scala, and “generalized disarray in opera houses in the country where the art form was born.” Conductors and artistic directors have recently quit from the opera houses in Turin, Genoa, Naples and Rome.