Gala Evening at La Scala Celebrates Culture Over Extremism

Dec 08, 2019 406

The gala season premiere of Puccini’s “Tosca” starring Russian soprano Anna Netrebko and conducted by Riccardo Chailly received 15 minutes of applause from an audience of Milanese elite, in an evening that celebrated culture as a bulwark against political extremism.

For the second year, the performance opened with long applause for Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella, sitting in the royal box with four government ministers. As last year, the Italian government is struggling, and the long applause was seen as a show of support for Italian institutions, which Mattarella represents in a non-partisan role. After five minutes of clapping, Mattarella signaled for the audience to turn to the stage for the Italian anthem and the start of “Tosca.”

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