Statement of La Scala Management Concerning Nov. 9 Strike

Classic Arts News   Statement of La Scala Management Concerning Nov. 9 Strike

In announcing the cancellation of tomorrow evening's performance of Verdi's Requiem, conducted by Daniel Barenboim and commemorating the 50th anniversary of Arturo Toscanini's death, the management of Milan's Teatro alla Scala released the following statement this afternoon:

    The comprehensive labor contract at La Scala expired on December 31, 2005. In March of that year, the [Italian] Parliament passed Law 43 ... which places precise contractual limitations on all of the Fondazione Liriche [the public-private foundations that now operate Italy's major opera houses]. Under those rules, it is forbidden [for opera houses] to proceed with any contractual negotiations in the absence of a national contract.

    Up to today, no platform or proposal has been presented, no talks have been opened for the renewal of the national contract for the sector [of theatrical workers].

    The management of La Scala, thanks to the results achieved in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons, was ready to respond, from an economic standpoint, to the great diligence with which the staff of the Theater secured a considerable increase in productivity, manifested in a notable rise in the number of performances presented, from 164 in 2001 to 273 in 2007.

    To overcome this impasse, the management of La Scala thought to request, from an illustrious jurist, a legal opinion identifying some alternative way, within the law, of responding to the expectations of the workers. Such a way has been identified. The solution was proposed by the Superintendent [St_phane Lissner] to the union organizations on the evening of November 6.

    Today the management of the theater does not understand the reasons why the response to this proposal has been negative. Nor do we see in the near term any change on the horizon.

    — The Management of the Teatro alla Scala
    (translated by Matthew Westphal)

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