Ricardo Mutti to return to La Scala for the first time since 2005

Ricardo Mutti to return to La Scala for the first time since 2005

Riccardo Mutti, the celebrated Italian musical conductor, will make a dramatic return to opera’s spiritual home La Scala in Milan.

La Scala said Mutti, who serves as a musical director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, would perform two concerts in Milan in January as part of the Chicago group’s European tour.

The move, La Scala said, represented a “step-by-step” rehabilitation of its relationship with Mutti, who was musical director for 19 years before the break in relations.

“Now we are talking about new projects and we hope that in the future he will come here to conduct an opera,” a spokesman for La Scala said.

The rapprochement appears to have been helped along after Pereira sought out contact with Mutti, who has in the past been described as an autocratic and imperious old-style conductor, before his upcoming 75th birthday – an occasion La Scala will mark with a special exhibit devoted to Mutti’s tenure in Milan that will open on 6 June. The maestro will be in La Scala’s main hall to meet the public a day earlier, La Scala said.

The Naples-born maestro’s departure from La Scala in 2005 was the result of a tense standoff that pitted the conductor against the orchestra and La Scala workers. Their disagreement centered on the decision to sack Carlo Fontana, the general manager of La Scala, who had clashed with Mutti.

Nine years later, Mutti severed his ties with the Opera of Rome following a spate of strike threats and protests by staff over financial cuts.

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