Politicians in Milan

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Principal Conductors/Music Directors of La Scala

Daniel Barenboim, (2006 –) (as Principal Guest Conductor)
Riccardo Muti, (1986 – 2005)
Claudio Abbado, (1968 – 1986)
No music director between 1956 and 1968
Guido Cantelli, (1956) (Died in an airplane crash one week after his appointment)
Carlo Maria Giulini, (1953 – 1956)
Victor de Sabata, (1930 – 1953)
Arturo Toscanini, (1921 – 1929)
La Scala closed from 1918 to 1920
Tullio Serafin, (1909 – 1914 / 1917 – 1918)
Arturo Toscanini, (1898 – 1908)
Franco Faccio, (1871 – 1889)

FAQ 1: The People of Freedom (Il Popolo della Libertà, PdL) = Forza Italia ? Right?
FAQ 2: The People of Freedom (Il Popolo della Libertà, PdL) > Christian Democracy for the Autonomies (Democrazia Cristiana per le Autonomie, DCA) ? Right?
FAQ 3: Democratic Party (Partito Democratico, PD) > Democrats of the Left (Democratici di Sinistra, DS) ? Right?
FAQ 4: How many political parties exist in Italy? o.O~ No wonder that EVERYBODY had a great time to have a great fight during the Muti-scandal… *.*

(Updated on APRIL 6, 2009)
No sooner had I memorized Walter Veltroni than he resigned… what the hell. Dario Franceschini is now an opposition leader? Then, what means http://www.perlulivo.it/index.html, who keeps sending mysterious e-mail for Romano Prodi? Who is the president of Democratic Party (Partito Democratico, PD)?

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1-1. Silvio, Veronica, Marina & Luigi Berlusconi, The People of Freedom (Il Popolo della Libertà, PdL): St. Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

1-2. Roberto Formigoni, Forza Italia party: President of the Lombardy regional authority, who said, “The minimalist set is extremely effective. At the present time, I think it is appropriate. For me, everything works”.

1-3. Letizia Moratti, Forza Italia party: President of La Scala & Milan Mayor, who played host to 850 guests at a gala dinner.

1.4. Sandro Bondi, The People of Freedom (Il Popolo della Libertà, PdL): Culture Minister, who was accused… of cutting €922 million (£762 million) from the culture budget over three years as the centre-right Government struggles with the credit crunch. Italy’s 14 opera houses, which are run by foundations combining state funding with private sponsorship, received €25 million less this year than the one before — a cut of 15 per cent.
State funding for the performing arts is due to drop from €560 million (£470 million) this year to €379 million in the 2009 budget.
Mr Bondi had offered to hold further talks over the next month on reforming opera finance, with tax breaks for private sponsors and investors.
the Berlusconi government, via its Minister of Culture, has announced that government funding will drop by 17%.

In Alphabetical Order…

1-5. Angelino Alfano, Forza Italia: Justice Minister, who attended the concert and said NOTHING.

1-6. Gianfranco Rotondi: Leader of the Christian Democracy for the Autonomies (Democrazia Cristiana per le Autonomie, DCA), who isonised, “They must have been American-style whistles of approval.”

1-7. Ignazio La Russa, The People of Freedom (Il Popolo della Libertà, PdL): Defense Minister, who quipped, “They opted for a substantial tenor. I am very impressed by the set … We are all here for the music, for Don Carlos, for La Scala which gives optimism to the whole of Italy. What struck me the most were the direction and the set. The performances were more than acceptable.”

1-8. Maurizio Saccibu, The People of Freedom (Il Popolo della Libertà, PdL): Minister of Labor, Health and Welfare, who attended the concert and said NOTHING.

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2-1. Romano Prodi, Democratic Party (Partito Democratico, PD): Prime Minister of Italy during… hum… INBETWEEN… from May 17, 2006 to May 8, 2008, who quickly sent me a mysterious e-mail after checking this collection. How long will it take for me to understand this mysterious Italian using Google-Language-Tool? *.*

2-2. Walter Veltroni, Democratic Party (Partito Democratico, PD): Leader of PD party until Feb 17, 2009, who was Minister of Cultural Heritage in 1998 and sponsored the law that allowed the opera to become a foundation to raise private funds.

2-3. Filippo Penati, Democratic Party (Partito Democratico, PD): President of Province of Milan, has been moved to Maestro Abbado’s request to plant trees in Milan. Da novembre 2006 fa parte del Consiglio di amministrazione del Teatro alla Scala ed è inoltre membro del Comitato di Candidatura dell’Expo “Milano 2015”. (Trans – part of the executive boar…)

2-4. Sergio Cofferati, Democrats of the Left (Democratici di Sinistra, DS): Mayor of Bologna, who said that the bankrupt airline Alitalia was a “flourishing business by comparison with Italy’s opera houses”. The Verona Arena was taken over by a government-appointed administrator.

2-5. Pierfrancesco Majorino: Local head of the center-left opposition Democratic Party (Partito Democratico, PD), who has asked Moratti to cancel the dinner because of the “extremely delicate and dramatic economic and social” situation.

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1-0. HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani: Emir of Qatar, who attended Barenboim’s La Scala 2007. (I couldn’t help making this honorary position after my research on Arab World.)

3-1. Franco Zeffirelli, Forza Italia: Italian Senator, who broke ranks with his own political allies in choosing to attack Italy’s most respected musician.

4-1. Stéphane Lissner : Managing Director or Mr. I-Am-The-Only-Foreigner.

4-2. Carlo Maria Cella : La Scala spokesman

4-3. Francesco Saverio Borrelli : Milan’s former public prosecutor and current president of the Milan conservatory, who pointed out, “The singers aren’t all on the same level, but I very much liked the opera, particularly for the ambiguous relationships of the main characters”.

5-1. Marta Marzotto : One of the many women who chose to recycle a dress, in line with the evening’s minimalism. She was unforgiving: “Some might say I fell asleep…”

5-2. Stefano Gabbana (D&G) : “The music was great, but it looked like a cemetery.”

5-3. ENI chairman and CEO Roberto Poli and Paolo Scaroni, as well as Renato Balestra, Domenico Dolce, Stefano Gabbana, Bruno Vespa, Valeria Marini, Roberto Bolle, Carlo Delle Piane and Francesco Saverio Borrelli.

5-4. Sponsors for Gala Dinner : Eni SpA, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, American Express Co. and Rolex

5-5. Tax Payers : La Scala is partly funded by taxpayers. The cost of a good opera seat — from 180 euros to 224 euros — makes it impossible for many people to attend. Stalls seats for the opening night cost 2,000 euros.

5-6. Students teachers and parents, who gathered around La Scala not to attend the concert but to protest outside the theatre against government education reforms.

6-1. Filarmonica della Scala: “The relationship between Muti and the orchestra is sick. We’re like a separated husband and wife bickering” (JIWON: I know who said it. But I rather want to protect his privacy. There is also a famous word from the internationally renowned Music Critic to depict this happening, but I don’t want to be involved in other’s business…)

6-2. Workers : Who had accused Muti of trying to turn the opera house into his personal fiefdom. Then Musical Director Riccardo Muti was ousted in April 2005, two weeks after 90 percent of the opera house’s workers demanded that he step down following his dismissal of General Manager Carlo Fontana.

6-3. 713 of 1,000 staff, including part-time workers, ratified the July 30 contract. Three other unions representing La Scala staff accepted the new contract in October. The total benefits and wages package for 2008 to 2011 is worth 11.5 million euros, the opera house said. The theater may break even in 2008 for the fourth straight year unless strikes cause more disruptions, it said on Nov. 17.

6-4. FIALS members comprise about 65 of 135 orchestra players and 30 of the 105 choral staff : It has been on strike since July, and rejected new contracts accepted by about 90% of the company’s employees in October, and is seeking a bigger share of the opera house’s earnings from broadcasting. Management refuses to negotiate further. La Scala says its finances don’t allow it to give the artists more money.

6-5. Sandro Malatesta : Local head of the FIALS union and a retired Scala trumpet player, who said, “On July 23, we informed La Scala that we were going to strike during the first three shows of each ballet or opera. This also applies to the first night and we’re ready to go ahead.”

La Scala’s case is an illuminating one: the Milanese opera house has a huge budget, 105 million euros in 2007, 34 millions of which (there were 38 in 2008) are part of the central government’s financing package that will be cut down, in 2009, to “only” 29 million. The City of Milan gives an additional 6 million, other province and county government entities (good luck figuring out how the Italians technically run their country, the Italians themselves have long ago given up on this) give some more money and, in the end, la Scala can count on 40% of its budget to be taken care of by the government, in its various forms.
The remaining 60% of course must come from ticket sales and sponsors (among the sponsors there are many corporations owned at least in part by the government, so, again, this means that la Scala survives on government handouts for more than half of its ginormous budget). Most of la Scala’s expenses, interestingly, come from the monthly paychecks of their 729 full-time workers + 150 part timers, all heavily unionized (as la Scala’s frequent strikes painfully demonstrate).

🙂 OLD NAMES from Munity at La Scala – Muti Scandal
1. Silvio Berlusconi: Italy’s premier
2. Gabriele Albertini: Ex-Mayor of Milan, who belongs to the center-right Forza Italia coalition, led by Italy’s premier.
3. Stefano Zecchi: Milan’s culture commissioner, who said that Mr. Muti’s departure cast doubt on plans to build the future of La Scala around the conductor.
4. Bruno Ermolli: Vice president of the Teatro Alla Scala Foundation, who said, “We found these qualities in Lissner. I was most responsible for finding a general manager.
5. Gino Vezzini: Vice president of the Amici del Loggione, an association of La Scala opera buffs, who said, “We’d hoped to avert this, and we’d lobbied the maestro to talk to the orchestra.”
6. Bruno Cerri of the union C.G.I.L., the Italian General Confedration of Labor. He said, “For us, the management of the theater remains the main problem. Meli is not the right person to guide the theater during such a delicate moment.”
7. Marco Tronchetti Provera: The Pirellii chairman, a major sponsor, who quit the board of directors.
8. Fedele Confalonieri: The former orchestra president, who also stood down.
9. Ernesto Schiavi: A violinist and artistic director of the Filarmonica Della Scala,
10. Sandro Malatesta: A trumpet player and union representative.

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