Big New Gig for Barenboim at La Scala

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Ralph
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Big New Gig for Barenboim at La Scala

Post by Ralph » Wed May 10, 2006 12:45 pm

From The New York Times:

May 10, 2006
Barenboim Takes On Role at La Scala in Milan
By DANIEL J. WAKIN

Daniel Barenboim will take on a prominent role at Teatro Alla Scala opera house in Milan, a Scala spokesman said yesterday, and will partly fill the vacuum created by Riccardo Muti's stormy departure a year ago.

Mr. Barenboim, who is the general music director of Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin and winds up his music directorship at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in June, will have a "continuous and important commitment" to La Scala, a spokesman, Carlo Maria Cella, said in a telephone interview from Milan.

Mr. Cella declined to provide details, since Mr. Barenboim plans to describe the new arrangement at a news conference in Milan on Monday.

Mr. Barenboim's contract at the Staatsoper runs until 2012, and he is director for life of the house's orchestra, which performs as the Berlin Staatskapelle. A Staatsoper spokeswoman, Ursula Nussbaum, said La Scala and the Staatsoper would be joining forces for some productions.

"We are going to plan some musical and institutional partnerships in a way, talking about productions and planning some productions together," she said. "This will be the effect on the Staatsoper" of Mr. Barenboim's involvement at La Scala, she said. "We will not lose him, and he will not reduce" his time at the Staatsoper, Ms. Nussbaum said.

The Staatsoper's general manager, Peter Mussbach, will attend Monday's news conference, La Scala said.

Mr. Cella discounted the idea that Mr. Barenboim would become a full-fledged successor to Mr. Muti, who resigned as music director in April 2005 after a highly public wrangle with La Scala's orchestra and other workers. Politics — both in the house and the good old-fashioned kind between left and right — also played a role.

La Scala has been relying on guest conductors since the resignation. "Since it wasn't possible to find a director of great importance immediately," Mr. Cella said, "it was felt that at least for a year or two, La Scala could stick with a series of guest conductors, and then look around for what could happen."

But in December Mr. Barenboim — appearing at the house for the first time in decades — led a rapturously received performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Italian newspapers reported that the players and conductor were enamored of one another.

"The orchestra was very impressed, and in time discussions began," Mr. Cella said, leading to the relationship to be announced on Monday. Mr. Barenboim has a production of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" scheduled for December 2007 at La Scala.

In addition, La Scala's superintendent, Stéphane Lissner, and Mr. Barenboim have a friendship dating back to a production of Berg's "Wozzeck" in Paris in 1983 that both were involved in, Mr. Cella said.

Mr. Barenboim's plans in Milan drew a gloomy reaction in Berlin, where the government is hard pressed for funds, and the city's opera houses and orchestras are preoccupied with the financial future and potential mergers. Mr. Barenboim has been a steadfast opponent of a potential merger between the orchestras of the Staatsoper and the Deutsche Oper, another of Berlin's three major opera houses.

"Are Mussbach and Barenboim still an engaged and convincing team?" The Berliner Morgenpost wrote on Monday. "Or has Barenboim lost his appetite for a house that has to fight for each euro and is worn down by unrealistic cuts and may eventually fall victim to a fusion with the Deutsche Oper one day?"

A commuting maestro, the newspaper said, "is no long-term solution."
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Post by Lance » Wed May 10, 2006 1:20 pm

Barenboim seems to be most fortunate in going from one great job to another. We don't seem to see/hear him as much as a pianist these days, though I'm sure he has a few concerts here and there as a soloist or in concerti.
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Wed May 10, 2006 1:35 pm

Lance wrote:Barenboim seems to be most fortunate in going from one great job to another. We don't seem to see/hear him as much as a pianist these days, though I'm sure he has a few concerts here and there as a soloist or in concerti.
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Well, he's leaving Chicago so maybe he'll be more freed up for recitals.
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Post by Werner » Wed May 10, 2006 2:14 pm

I hate to say so - but maybe he's got his hands full with other things!
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Post by Lance » Wed May 10, 2006 2:36 pm

Werner wrote:I hate to say so - but maybe he's got his hands full with other things!
What did you have in mind? The guy is my age now ... so if he's anything like me, he's getting tired!
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Post by Ralph » Wed May 10, 2006 9:34 pm

Lance wrote:
Werner wrote:I hate to say so - but maybe he's got his hands full with other things!
What did you have in mind? The guy is my age now ... so if he's anything like me, he's getting tired!
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I'm 62 and I'm definitely NOT tired!!!!! :twisted:
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Lance
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Post by Lance » Thu May 11, 2006 12:25 am

Ralph wrote:
Lance wrote:
Werner wrote:I hate to say so - but maybe he's got his hands full with other things!
What did you have in mind? The guy is my age now ... so if he's anything like me, he's getting tired!
*****

I'm 62 and I'm definitely NOT tired!!!!! :twisted:
I was being somewhat facetious. I'm not really tired either, except from b/p pills and cholesterol tablets, whatever they do to the body, and surely they do something. This is what happens when you pass the age of 60.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Thu May 11, 2006 9:19 pm

Lance wrote:
Ralph wrote:
Lance wrote:
Werner wrote:I hate to say so - but maybe he's got his hands full with other things!
What did you have in mind? The guy is my age now ... so if he's anything like me, he's getting tired!
*****

I'm 62 and I'm definitely NOT tired!!!!! :twisted:
I was being somewhat facetious. I'm not really tired either, except from b/p pills and cholesterol tablets, whatever they do to the body, and surely they do something. This is what happens when you pass the age of 60.
*****

I've been fortunate - I'm on a lot of meds, most for life and I haven't had any fatigue problems. Just those damn voices telling me to do bad things.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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