And what about those adjustments that Robert Carsen worked-out with Stéphane Lissner to adapt his production for a Milan & Italy safe version? Tonight the caricature of Silvio Berlusconi was dressed in longer briefs, unlike at the Théâtre du Châtelet production where he flaunted speedos (see below). As we anticipated, he wore no tie. What you can see posted are vidcaps of the Arte' broadcast, last January, of the uncensored and uncut Paris production.
These Paris-Candide vidcaps show scenes that have been cut from la Scala's staging.
Opera Chic has been forbidden by la Scala's lawyers to publish Scala promotional material that is freely distributed to the media, so there will be no Candide at la Scala images here until tomorrow, when Italian law will allow us to reproduce, in fair use, pages of newspapers that have published those images.
In Milan, swiftly axed from the production (about 15 minutes, 2 musical numbers and a lot of anti-Catholic Church jokes) was Candide's arrival into Santa Fe, New Mexico. Below, find the Théâtre du Châtelet production of Carsen's staging of Candide, (thanks to ARTE airing it this past January) which included the scene.
Why is the Vatican still so powerful here, that the Scala GM Lissner axed all the anti-Catholic content but kept the anti-Berlusconi shtick, thus enraging the very Milan city government that yearly endows la Scala with a fat donation?
In a few words, because the Church and the Catholic organizations are so powerful here that, when the (nominally) center-left central government led by Romano Prodi tried to pass a very mellow law allowing some form of protections to civil unions, straight and gay unions alike, the Church had successfully lobbied Catholic politicians to sink the government in a Senate vote (the government usually has a small majority there, but they magically lost it on that issue) and they sent ONE MILLION people to a demonstration in Rome, the awesomely named "Family Day", in English, to flex some bada$$ Catholic muscle.
Needless to say, the civil unions plan has been shelved indefinitely.
The Catholic Church also won big two years ago, sinking a referendum that would have given more leeway to stem cell research and in vitro fertilization (abortion, on the other hand, is still legal here...it is not clear for how long, though). And a recent "offensive" art exhibit in Bologna has created a big fuss, with the (leftist) city government withholding support to the artist and actually apologizing to the Church.
To sum it up: Scala GM Stephane Lissner is more worried by the Vatican's possible wrath than by Silvio Berlusconi's certain discomfort at being mocked on la Scala's stage. Lissner may be right, but Opera Chic is not so sure -- He lost about 2 million euros of Milan government funding anyway. And we doubt the Vatican is going to send him a thank-you note, much less a check for 2 cool mils.