Teaser: La Scala threatens: We will call the police! Carlo Bergonzi comes to the rescue!
Opera Chic will explain more later, but she is right now late for an appointment. However, she can tell you this for now:
If Alagna keeps true to his word and threats, and tries to show-up this afternoon at Teatro alla Scala for costume and make-up, sources at La Scala confirm that a deeply-outraged GM Lissner has given orders to staff to call the police, to physically prevent the tenor from entering the building. This is going from bad to worse...the ugliness is getting thick in here. Alagna as a criminal? C'mon, Lissner's Iron Fist is making Alagna look like a gangster.
And here’s more: Replacement tenor Walter Fraccaro, who will substitute Alagna tonight, spent yesterday in Busseto, Italy (Verdi's hometown which is one-hour drive away from Milan) where his old teacher and mentor, Maestro Carlo Bergonzi, now lives and operates a school for singers.
Bergonzi gracefully agreed to free-up his schedule for the entire day yesterday to walk Fraccaro through his entire part. Bergonzi’s help, our sources confirm to us, has been greatly appreciated by La Scala Management.
Bergonzi’s Radames, remains together with Pavarotti’s as the best Radames of the modern era. Fraccaro really could not have found a better coach. And a more generous one, as Opera Chic can reveal, Maestro Bergonzi did not even ask for a fee or to be compensated for the walk-through, but waived payment, being a dear friend to Teatro alla Scala.
UPDATE UPDATE vvvvvvv
In a very long interview with La Stampa Daily in today’s print-edition, Muti talks mostly about his conducting of Don Pasquale, but also speaks about the Alagna/La Scala incident in an article called, “Le trovate cretine non fanno l'opera” ("The ideas of cretins do not make an opera"). The article includes his thoughts on Zeffirelli’s Aida, stating that the production is a culmination of, “moronic ideas, which cannot make an opera work”.
He waxes nostalgic about the simple staging of operas. He fondly remembers his own Macbeth, directed by Graham Vick, “where we just had one large cube on the stage, and nothing else.” This is clearly a not-so-subtle attack on Zeffirelli’s current Aida extravaganza at Teatro alla Scala.
Muti is also very careful not to answer a question about Alagna being booed at La Scala, and says, “I always pay attention to what happens in the world of opera…and one must never reduce music to the soundtrack of an extravaganza.” And this is as direct as il Maestro gets on his careful attack of the scandal at Teatro alla Scala.