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Hasta la pasta: British crew takes over La Scala

Our man in the Union Jack boxer shorts has just wired hot news from Milano:

We’ve enjoyed our first music rehearsal within the hallowed walls of La Scala after three weeks of rehearsals in a far-flung suburb.Take note: this is an event of which British arts should be proud.

March 13 sees the Italian premiere of Alexander Raskatov’s ‘A Dog’s Heart’ (Cuore di Cane / Собачье сердце). The world premiere was in 2010 in Amsterdam, with the UK premiere at ENO later the same year.


Not only is the production directed by the Complicité genius of Britain’s Simon McBurney (plus all his design team), but it is conducted by Martyn Brabbins (after Mr Gergiev pulled out) and has no fewer than 5 British singers out of a cast of 13 (Peter Hoare, Andrew Watts, Graem Danby, Matthew Hargreaves & Brian Galliford) plus the brilliant Blind Summit puppeteers (Mark Down, Finn Caldwell [Warhorse], Josie Daxter & Robin Beer). Amazing score for British artists abroad … particularly when the production’s being sung in Russian.

Gergiev is still listed as conductor on the Scala website – a pity: Martin Brabbins  has done the hard work and deserves the credit.

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  1. … and currently Brits Bryn Terfel and Rosalind Plowright have got the best reception and reviews in the Dutchman, and yesterday Daniel Harding conducted (brilliantly) the La Scala Philharmonic! Bravi.

  2. Pierre Audi says:

    But the opera and the production were commissioned and realised by the Netherlands Opera. Its a Dutch production pur sang. Next stop after La Scala: Opera de Lyon.

  3. stanley cohen says:

    - not forgetting my chorus, The Philharmonia, which was the first British chorus to sing in La Scala back in the 70s.

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