Even before he's to be officially sworn-in as La Scala's new intendant on October 1, Alexander Pereira's in hot water.
Milan's mayor Pisapia and the theater's board/administration are fuming, following news that broke in the Austrian papers that Pereira bought, on Scala's tabs, seven productions (and rumors indicate that the number is even higher) from the Salzburg Festival, which he's currently heading until the end of September.
A 'stupefied' Pisapia will oversee a meeting today with Scala board members, none of whom were pre-advised of the purchases. Pisapia only heard about the affair recently through newspaper clippings and he's asked for more info and documents from Camp Pereira this weekend before todays's big Scala summit, which will try to sort out this 'pasticcione' in addition to setting down new regulations for co-productions and relationships between other theaters.
Rumors abound that angry board members are calling for Pereira's resignation based on misconduct, stemming from the fact that he made the purchases before his official contract starts on October 1 (he doesn't actually have the power to sign or make official comments on buyout packagages of shows from other theaters.)
It's rumored that he brought the Salzburg Don Carlo by Peter Stein, Die Meistersinger by Stefan Herheim, Lucio Silla by Marshall Pynovski, Falstaff by Michieletto, Il Trovatore (Alvis Hermanis), Der Rosenkavalier (Robert Carsen) and Gyorgy Kurtag's Endgame. But the board's scratching its head over repeat productions such as Falstaff -- Scala had a great success with the Robert Carsen Falstaff, which premiered earlier this season, but Pereira's bought the Salzburg/Michieletto Falstaff for future seasons (scheduled for 2017). Another issue is that costs will balloon when Salzburg sets are modified to fit La Scala's stage dimensions.
La Scala's gone through this before -- during the Lissner/Barenboim years, Scala purchased a few co-producitons from Berlin, also criticized. This time, Chailly's stading behind Pereira. Lissner is not -- the current intendant does not play well with Pereira and will be absent from the press conference in May when Scala rolls out its 2014-15 season.