Shortly before curtain tonight in Milan, Scala GM Stephane Lissner defended the string of cancellations by the three singers who apparently got sick before the opening night of Luc Bondy's "Tosca", telling ANSA news agency that thyey are indeed sick and they're not simply trying to avoid being booed.
Jonas Kaufmann (Cavaradossi), Oksana Dyka (Tosca) and Davide Pelissero (Sciarrone) canceled their commitment to the first show due to illness.
"Neither those who are here tonight -- said Lissner -- nor those who couldn't make it are afraid of certain stupid people who declare in advance, on the Internet, their intent to boo".
Did he mean the infamous "loggionisti"?
"There are 400 loggionisti, less than 20 of them boo".
Lissner also called Aleksandrs Antonenko, tonight's Cavaradossi who was flown in from Frankfurt, "a miracle, one of the two or three top Cavaradossi in the world".
Lissner also defended rookie conductor Omer Meir Wellber (Daniel Barenboim's protege and former assistant) who according to the GM did "splendid work" and slammed the orchestra who "in the past even complained about Pierre Boulez... four years ago after two rehersals of Stravinsky with him, they came to me to ask where did I find that conductor. I won't comment further".