Earlier today in Milan, Scala GM Stéphane Lissner held a press conference where he attacked the Italian government, asked for more operational freedom since the opera house is in the black, and threatened to shut down the theater if his requests won't be taken seriously by Culture Secretary Bondi.
"The time for discussion is over -- Lissner said -- Now I expect action from the government"
Lissner wants to be able to operate using different rules -- most Italian opera houses are deep in the red -- but he needs action from Bondi: Lissner needs the cabinet to greenlight Scala's separate status by the end of the month, so that by October 31 Scala's new status will officially become law. Otherwise, "the theater will close down: this needs to be clear to everyone".
The reason stated by Lissner is that, otherwise, la Scala would not be able to guarantee high quality.
The fact that as of late he can't get his orchestra, chorus and workers to show up for work (the premiere of Juan Diego Florez's Barbiere, scheduled for July 9, will not happen because of a strike) did not diminish Lissner's determination.
Opera Chic's take? Some people say that Lissner -- who did not attack the unions that are de facto running his theater in his place, because they decide if and when and how a show will take place -- is afraid that next week the unions will vote to sink la Scala's summer tour in Argentina.