Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Uproar at La Scala

Tumult is not unknown at La Scala, the venerable Milanese opera house notorious for its demonstrative audiences. At this season's opening night, there was a different kind of uproar.

Outside the theater, violence broke out as police confronted a crowd protesting the Italian government's plan to cut state funding of the arts by 37 percent. Inside, conductor Daniel Barenboim read the riot act – in the form of a clause of the Italian constitution mandating support of cultural institutions – to the country's president.

John Hooper of The Guardian (UK) reports: