×
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

  • Taylor Swift "Christmas Tree Farm"

    Taylor Swift's 'Christmas Tree Farm' Video Is a VHS Wonderland

    Taylor Swift may have set a “Farm”-to-market land speed record with the release of “Christmas Tree Farm” Thursday night, just four days after the tune was written, and with much less time than that since it was lushly orchestrated for maximum holiday glee. The biggest revelation of the accompanying video — at least for anyone [...]

  • darlene love

    Darlene Love's Blue Christmas: Singer Says NBC Tree Lighting Organizers Are Ageist

    Darlene Love’s iconic Christmas song, “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home),” was performed Wednesday night on NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” tree lighting special — but the woman who made it famous was iced out and she is furious about it. Love, 78, explained her frustrations on Facebook, calling out Brad Lachman Productions for excluding her [...]

  • Joycelyn Savage, Azriel Clary. Azriel Clary,

    Joycelyn Savage Denies Creating Patreon Account Exposing R. Kelly

    One of R. Kelly’s longtime girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage, has come forward publicly to refute claims that she’s turned on the R&B singer after an Instagram account claiming to be her suggested as much. In a video obtained by TMZ, Savage, first reading pre-written statements on her cell phone, strongly denies the assertion that she had [...]

  • Jagged Little Pill review

    Broadway Review: 'Jagged Little Pill'

    Nearly 25 years after “Jagged Little Pill” hit the shelves of record stores, Alanis Morissette’s innovative 1995 album has arrived on Broadway under the muscular direction of Diane Paulus, who launched this galvanic production at the American Repertory Theater. The show’s supportive book by screenwriter Diablo Cody interprets Morissette’s musical idiom as a universal domestic [...]

  • Who album cover

    Album Review: The Who's 'Who'

    Not only did the death wish expressed 55 years ago in “My Generation” not come true, but the Who have now become the first major rock act of their generation to come up with a whole album that’s actually about getting old. And this from an outfit that pretty much entirely skipped its own middle age, [...]

  • Billie Eilish Makes Her Directorial Debut

    Billie Eilish Makes Her Directorial Debut With ‘Xanny’ Video (Watch)

    In a week with lots of other Billie Eilish things going on — including Variety’s two cover stories, her acoustic performance at Apple’s headquarters and, not least, reports of a multi-million-dollar documentary deal with Apple — a new video from the 17-year-old singer has also arrived. The clip — for the song “Xanny,” from her [...]

  • CMJ Music Marathon to Relaunch in

    CMJ Music Marathon to Relaunch in 2020

    CMJ Music Marathon, the New York-based music festival and conference ran from 1978 until 2016, is apparently relaunching next year. Details are scant, but a tweet from the company’s official account said that the festival is under “new management” — which means that its most-recent CEO, Adam Klein, who was ordered by a judge to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content