When OC returned to Milan yesterday from a late-Fall USA vacation, the drama llama came to greet her with Cecilia Bartoli and Daniel Barenboim riding shotgun.
Last night, as la Ceci and Barenboim opened the 2012/13 season of Filarmonica della Scala at Teatro alla Scala in a sold-out concert, the loggionisti rambunctiously booed them down.
Giuseppina Manin reports for Corriere della Sera that the concert's first half -- Baroquely-devoted to Haendel (assorted arias) and Mozart's Exultate, jubilate -- was roudly cheered.
All hell broke out after the intermission following a Rossini setlist (arias from Otello and La Cenerentola), greatly dividing Ceci's crankiest Milan critics and fans. Booing erupted from the loggione, the two upper-most decks of La Scala's elegant concert hall, followed by shouts -- "Go home", "Poor Rossini" and "Shame on you in a period of economic crisis", alluding to Ceci's exorbitant fees, one of the reasons why the Italian mezzo hadn't graced the Piermarini's stage over the past ninteen years since her last Milan appearance.
Pro and Anti Ceci factions passionately-swapped insults until ambassador Barenboim turned to face the audience and said, "Siamo a un concerto — ricorda secco il maestro — Adesso state tutti zitti" -- "We're at a concert" - respects the maestro, dryly - "now everyone shut up."
Ceci emerged from the wings, unruffled, graciously thanked her fans and then gave a Cenerentola bis, followed by more applause and boos.
After the tussle, the opening night concert concluded with Mozart's 40th Symphony. At the final applause, stone-faced Barenboim did not look pleased.