Right after Stéphane Lissner took over Teatro alla Scala in 2005 after Riccardo Muti's stormy dismissal, the Milanese opera house mentioned how Muti's loss would be more than compensated by the presence of many great conductors. Rome newspaper La Repubblica reported on October 15, 2005 that the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala would be "Daniele Gatti's, Riccardo Chailly’s, and Myung-Whun Chung’s" orchestra.
Less than four and a half years later, none of the listed names seem to be part of the La Scala team anymore.
Daniele Gatti will conduct Lulu this coming Spring, but after his very unfortunate Don Carlo that opened the 2009 season, his status as frontrunner for Music Director of Teatro alla Scala seems to be very much in peril. And actually, after his Lulu commitment, Gatti's future at La Scala remains, as of now, quite unclear.
Riccado Chailly, after the unlucky Aida in 2006 that was marred by Roberto Alagna's chaotic dismissal conducted a very solid Rigoletto that same season and a very solid Trittico; he seemed another natural candidate for Music Director for La Scala but, again, he does not appear in the future programs of the Milan opera house.
Let’s not forget that Scala still has no Music Director. They have Daniel Barenbom, but only as Maestro Scaligero -- a glorified title for a Principal Guest Conductor. Still, all artistic decisions lie in General Manager Stefan Lissner’s hands.
Myung-Whun Chung’s enjoyed a long-time collaboration with the Milanese opera house going back to his time as beloved Maestro Carlo Maria Giulini's assistant. Maestro Chung conducted very often at La Scala these past few years. Not anymore.
The Italian press has been reporting that maestro has Chung broken-off all future commitments and relations with the Milanese opera house. He will not conduct there from this point forward. Neither opera nor concerts with the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala. His concert here in Milan that is scheduled for February 15 with the Filarmonica will instead be conducted by young Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen.
The Italian press is reporting that -- surprising for those who know Maestro Chung -- he's upset for having been overlooked as possible new Music Director of the opera house. La Repubblica also reports that he has been very dissatisfied with the fact that La Scala never hired him to conduct one of their December 7th Season Openers (Milan’s most prestigious social event of the year). Chung was already on board to conduct in the next few seasons a Simon Boccanegra and a Zauberflote. Not gonna happen! C YA!
Myung-Whun Chung’s CAMI management -- contacted today by Opera Chic via phone -- declined to provide a statement with the Maestro’s reasons for breaking all relationships with La Scala.