You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

La Scala trades trees for maestro

Claudio Abbado returns to Milan opera house

Claudio Abbado, La Scala’s legendary musical director, is set to return to the Milan opera house he stormed out of 23 years ago.

While attempts by Milan’s ruling right wing politicos to lure him back were initially refused, the 75-year-old maestro agreed to return on one condition: “I’ll come back if you plant 90,000 trees.”

Abbado is famed for introducing contemporary opera to Milan, where he reigned from 1966 to 1986. Even now, in his eighth decade, the left-leaning intellectual is in tune with the zeitgeist.

The city was so keen to woo Abbado, who also held top jobs at the London Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera, that it whipped up plans for “intercity woodlands” and even a new tree-lined path between the city’s best-known landmarks, its cathedral and castle.

The great man was suitably impressed, and already cognoscenti are preparing to make a beeline for tickets for his first two Mahler concerts, scheduled for June 4 and 6 next year.

And for those who don’t get seats, there’ll still be a more verdant city to enjoy — and Abbado to thank.

More Music

  • Diane Warren

    Diane Warren on Her Latest Oscar Bid for 'Marshall,' #MeToo Movement, Early Career Moves

    Claudio Abbado, La Scala’s legendary musical director, is set to return to the Milan opera house he stormed out of 23 years ago. While attempts by Milan’s ruling right wing politicos to lure him back were initially refused, the 75-year-old maestro agreed to return on one condition: “I’ll come back if you plant 90,000 trees.” […]

  • Lo Moon Album Review

    Album Review: Lo Moon's Self-Titled Debut

    Claudio Abbado, La Scala’s legendary musical director, is set to return to the Milan opera house he stormed out of 23 years ago. While attempts by Milan’s ruling right wing politicos to lure him back were initially refused, the 75-year-old maestro agreed to return on one condition: “I’ll come back if you plant 90,000 trees.” […]

  • Mary J Blige Walk of Fame

    Mary J. Blige, Common, Sufjan Stevens, More to Perform at Academy Awards

    Claudio Abbado, La Scala’s legendary musical director, is set to return to the Milan opera house he stormed out of 23 years ago. While attempts by Milan’s ruling right wing politicos to lure him back were initially refused, the 75-year-old maestro agreed to return on one condition: “I’ll come back if you plant 90,000 trees.” […]

  • Taura Stinson, Common, and Diane WarrenVariety

    Common, Pasek and Paul, Diane Warren Reveal Inspiration Behind Oscar-Nominated Songs

    Claudio Abbado, La Scala’s legendary musical director, is set to return to the Milan opera house he stormed out of 23 years ago. While attempts by Milan’s ruling right wing politicos to lure him back were initially refused, the 75-year-old maestro agreed to return on one condition: “I’ll come back if you plant 90,000 trees.” […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content