La Scala Appoints a Referee…Er, “Artistic Director”

La Scala has appointed a new artistic director to mediate between music director Riccardo Muti and general manager Carlo Fontana. Muti has fought against what he characterizes as Fontana’s attempts to “dumb down” the famous company. “Mr Fontana had been criticised for introducing popular fare such as West Side Story to fill the 2,600 seats of the Arcimboldi theatre, built on the industrial outskirts of Milan to host La Scala’s performances while its city-centre premises undergo a £40m refit. Tension between the two men burst into the open in July when Mr Muti snubbed the official presentation of the opera’s new season.”