Milan readies for La Scala opening night

The world can watch Milan on live TV.

This year’s opening night on 7 December at Milan’s iconic Teatro alla Scala will – as always – be a high point in the run-up to Christmas, attracting a bevy of personalities from the worlds of politics, economy, showbiz and culture who will not miss the chance to see – and be seen.

It seems unlikely that President Sergio Mattarella will be able to make it back in time from his state visit to Portugal to hear Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chenier under the baton of Riccardo Chailly, but the grapevine suggests prime minister Paolo Gentiloni will be in the royal box at La Scala and Senate speaker Pietro Grasso is also expected.  Culture minister Dario Franceschini has already confirmed he will be there.

RAI-TV’s flagship channel 1, including its satellite channel for overseas viewers, will cover the performance live, and also the arrival of the audience, with interviews during the intermission.

In Milan, the opera will be broadcast live in 27 theatres, cinemas and concert halls across all nine boroughs, with entrance free as long as places are available. This page on the city hall website lists the locations, as well as other talks, conferences and poetry readings on the theme of the doomed lovers and of the French revolution in which they lived and died.

Meanwhile, as the city prepares for the gala evening, two special trams and a fleet of electric tricycles are on the streets, playing music from the opera and providing information on the programme of events before and during the first night.