sparks between Riccardo Muti and Riccardo Chailly behind the scenes

sparks between Riccardo Muti and Riccardo Chailly behind the scenes
sparks between Riccardo Muti and Riccardo Chailly behind the scenes

Reading Choderlos de Laclos it seems that, in the eighteenth century, the theater was the best place to capture gossip, immortalize intrigues and attend discussions. From the boxes of the first and second order, the ladies put on their binoculars not so much to follow the work, which most of the nobles considered of little interest, but to find out what was consumed inside the boxes on the opposite side, looking for the scandal, packaging the gossip to tell it, fresh fresh, at the next day’s tea, peppering it with details.

Well, after four hundred years, it seems that nothing has changed. The location is that of La Scala Theater in Milan, reopened after seven months with two concert-events that made it possible to raise the curtain and admit the public, albeit contingent, inside the structure. What caught the attention of the press, however, was not what happened on stage, but behind the scenes. It seems, in fact, that after the concert of the Wiener Philharmoniker, the current musical director of La Scala Riccardo Chailly and his predecessor Riccardo Muti – who held the position from 1985 to 2005 – have been the protagonists of a tough battle witnessed by several eyewitnesses.

The fuse went off when Chailly decided to greet Muti in her dressing room: on his arrival, however, Muti would first claim not to know him and then tell him to get out of the way in an inelegant way. “I said I didn’t want to see anyone, just people I like. What is he doing here? ” Muti would have exclaimed in front of an obviously embarrassed and particularly annoyed Chailly. The phrase was also repeated by Muti in front of the crowd of spectators who had lined up in front of the dressing room (which, incidentally, was Chailly’s) to pay homage to him after the concert, which marked the last stage of the Wiener Italian tour. At that point Chailly had already left, but laughter and shouts kept coming from the dressing room: «That will never take the Wiener to La Scala as I have done six times. I don’t understand why La Scala hasn’t sent him away yet “ Muti would have said, again according to the reconstruction of those present, while the superintendent Dominique Meyer was trying to plug the hole by talking about a simple “bad girl”.

The episode would only confirm the strained relationship between Muti and La Scala that someone had already noticed in the greeting addressed to the public before performing the encore of Kaiser Waltz by Strauss, when the maestro limited himself to thanking only the Wiener and explaining that the performance at La Scala on 11 May was “just a coincidence” (the fiftieth anniversary of the historic concert directed by Arturo Toscanini in 1946 for the reconstruction of the Piermatini Muti had also directed it in 1996). In short, it seems that Muti did not appreciate the controversy over the fact that his concert with the Austrian orchestra was the first with the public in the theater after 200 days of restrictions. La Scala, officially, did not comment on the episode, but it seems evident that the hopes of seeing Muti conducting the Piermarini orchestra again are not so high. Ah, if only Choderlos de Laclos were still here.

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