The "loggioinisti," the band of mercenary opera fanatics who inhabit the upper reaches of La Scala, began booing Ricciarelli. The conductor stopped and tried to start again. The soprano stopped, reportedly shouting, "May God's curse strike you all!" and left the stage.
"My immediate reaction was to cry," Esperian said. "I had never witnessed anything like that in a theater. I'm thinking, `I'm going to get a call.'"