Preparations are complete for the opening night at La Scala on 7 December, when the world-famous opera house dedicates the season 2012-13 to Richard Wagner on the bicentenary of his birth.
Under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, Jonas Kaufman and Anja Harteros will sing “Lohengrin”, the almost five-hour classic telling the tragic story of the Knight of the Swan, in German and with electronic libretto in English, Italian and German. The production will be staged by successful director Claus Guth. Tickets to further performances of “Lohengrin” are on sale online.
In collaboration with the Edison energy group, Milan city hall will transmit the opening night around the city to 23 locations, including schools, five cinemas, two theatres, two music halls, a swimming pool, three prisons and the municipal theatres of two nearby towns, Domodossola and Limbiate.
The star-studded “prima” will mark the start of a year of musical events under the banner “Verdi and Wagner in the city”, since the following season 2013-14 will be dedicated to another bicentenary, that of Giuseppe Verdi. “After the success of [last year’s] ‘Don Giovanni in città’,” said Milan’s culture commission chair Stefano Boeri, “’Verdi e Wagner in città’ will transform La Scala’s first night into a great, polyphonic metropolitan event.”
Arias from Wagner will be played throughout the week leadng up to the first night in railway stations, Linate airport and supermarkets of the Coop, Federdistribuzione and Epam chains. A download of full programme of other events in theatres, schools, music halls and museums for the first stage of the cultural year is available here.