Pierluigi Panza writes in today's Corriere della Sera that Daniel Barenboim will leave his role of Music Director at Teatro alla Scala on December 31, 2014, two years prior to the end of his contract and just three months after Lissner leaves for the Paris Opera (who also broke his contract early with La Scala).
"It's the end of an era," said Lissner on Barenboim's early dismissal. "Barenboim was clear that he's got other projects to attend to, like his Western Divan Orchestra Academy that he's building in Berlin with Frank Gehry."
End of an era, indeed (disrupted by recent sideshows of incoming Scala MD designates) with La Scala and its orchestra as backdrop to Barenboim's Wagner legacy (get a room already, you two!), which culminated in a Ring Cycle over the seasons when Italy should have been prioritizing the bicentennial birthday of its native son, Verdi. This, according to a handful of La Scala's Prada-heeled, Bulgari-jeweled donors, who grew as weary as their check-writing hands from the predictable Barenboim/Wagner onslaught that opened its new seasons over the past years.
Since 2007, Barenboim's opened four of Scala's prestigious December opening nights and aside from Carmen in 2009, the remaining three have been Wagner: Tristan (Dec. 2007), Walkurie (Dec. 2010) and Lohengrin (Dec. 2012). Between Wagner, he's given La Scala some Prokofiev (The Gambler); Verdi (Aida and Boccanegra); and Mozart (Don Giovanni). Next year will bring four non-Wagner commitments -- Rimskij-Korsakov's The Tsar's Bride, Cosi fan tutte, Simon Boccanegra and Deborah Warner's Fidelio to open the 2014-15 season.