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First Class

The new Palermo production of
Rossini's 'The Barber of Seville',
a casual worker in Almodóvar's Seville,
recommended by GIUSEPPE PENNISI


Palermo's 'Teatro Massimo' is a rare bird in Italian lyric opera landscape -- fourteen public-private foundations and nearly thirty 'teatri di tradizione', mostly managed by the local Municipalities. Whilst most of them are struggling to pay their debts and to avoid default (if not bankruptcy), after a difficult period and the rescheduling of a major debt organized with an international bank, over the last five fiscal years, the Teatro Massimo has balanced its accounts (and amortized its rescheduled debt) and reported a small surplus every year. This has required a 30% cut in production cost along with an increase in productivity: in 2010, its calendar provides for 104 performances, excluding the special matinée program for students (thirty-thousand young spectators over the course of the year). This compares with 125 opera performance at La Scala in Milan and only twenty-four at San Carlo in Naples. The reduction in costs and increase in production have been made possible through a network of alliances of major opera houses in Europe and in the USA, as well as by the employment of young but promising singers, thus offering opportunities to the new generation and paying lower cachet than other theatres...

Copyright © 25 September 2010 Giuseppe Pennisi,
Rome, Italy





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