(It's always Goundhog Day at la Scala now!)
Today's Corriere della Sera carries a great review titled, "Scala, Flórez’s Encore Breaks A Taboo", of last night's Fille du Regiment by the always interesting music critic and scholar Enrico Girardi.
Girardi loved Juan Diego Flórez, “the young, exceptional Peruvian tenor” (of course, who wouldn't), but advises against breaking La Scala's tradition of "NO ENCORES" in the future.
Here's his reasoning regarding "the encore":
“Is it right? Is it wrong? Is it an audience’s sacred right? Is it heresy? There’s nothing more mundane, in opera houses: an especially beautiful and well-sung aria gets repeated because of the audience’s furious requests. Not at La Scala.”
"Now, there’s no denying that Flórez is a truly exceptional singer, the point isn’t whether or no the derserved such an honor. The point is that until the other day, nobody would have been allowed to do an ancore by La Scala’s management. La Scala è La Scala, they would have told him: It just is not done here. With reason. The reason is not that "La Scala è La Scala", (La Scala needs to earn night after night the reasons for her pride) but that music is more important than those who perform it; it’s even more important than the audience: an unpopular, but flawless concept. It is fact."
"Anyway it happened, and there’s no reason to turn this into a drama. It happened. Amen. But it’ll be better not to have any encores in the future.
We are happy to hear that the management had advised the young tenor against the encore (he had announced his plan the other day in a Corriere interview). Other things are more worrying anyway. For example, La Scala needs to avoid in the future that somebody like the boring and shallow Canadian Yves Abel gets hired to conduct an opera only on surface 'easy' such as La Fille Du Regiment. In his hands Donizetti’s opéra comique loses much of its lively, exciting spirit. This damages the already way-too-seasoned staging – from 1959 – by Filippo Crivelli and Franco Zeffirelli, with his fable-like atmosphere, the painted sets. Today, it looks like a parody of the traditional stagings: and in this sense, it is paradoxically modern."
We kind of agree: NEW RULE @ LA SCALA NO ENCORES FOR ANYBODY XCEPT JUAN DIEGO: JDF IS REQUIRED TO DO THE ENTIRE OPERA AS AN ENCORE @ OPERA CHIC'S HOUSE (AKA LA CASA DE OPERA CHICA) K?