From Glyndebourne to Glastonbury - A social calendar for the 21st century
Opening Night, La Scala
07 December, 2013
It is a tradition that the venerable La Scala opera house in Milan launches its new season on 7 December, St Ambrose's Day, the feast of Milan's patron saint.
La Scala is one of the world's most famous opera houses, which was inaugurated on 3 August 1778. The lavishly decorated theatre was the pre-eminent meeting place for Milan's wealthiest residents, whose passion for opera was matched by their love of ostentation. It was renovated in 1907, and again from 2002 to 2004, when the sound quality was considerably enhanced.
La Scala is no stranger to controversy. It was the opera house where the works of Giuseppe Verdi were premiered, but the composer ended the special relationship when he accused the La Scala orchestra of corrupting his music. Eventually the two sides were reconciled, and both Otello and Falstaff were subsequently premiered there.
The opening night features a performance of La Traviata.