Tuesday, July 09, 2019
Pereira back in the News
Alexander Pereira left his post in Salzburg to become the Intendant at La Scala Milan. We discussed this at the time. The explanation as I understand it was that La Scala needed money, and Pereira had the gift of persuading people to give money. He had success here.
I am giving you my perspective which could always be wrong. Pereira was good friends with Cecilia Bartoli whom he knew from his time in Zurich. He helped her get the Pfingstfest gig at the Salzburg Festival while he was still in Salzburg. He persuaded her to perform three Baroque operas at La Scala beginning with Julio Cesare this fall. This is all good. Everyone is happy.
However, there is another side of the story. La Scala had more money, but it also had more empty seats. A sign of this problem is that for the final performance by Lisette Oropesa for her run of Verdi's I Masnadieri at La Scala, they were advertising all over the internet that tickets could be had for half price. This run was well reviewed.
I noticed a certain amount of Germanification of the repertoire and artists. Periera is Austrian. An indication of their unhappiness showed itself when the board of La Scala did not renew Pereira's contract. In July, 2021, he would be replaced by Dominique Meyer. Cecilia immediately resigned from her run of Baroque operas in protest. Pereira asked her to support him, but she replied Anywhere but there. Here is a more accurate version of the conversation.
The new guy comes from the Wiener Staatsoper, but before that he was in Paris. I don't know him. I will refrain from taking sides here. My strictly outside sense of this is that Italians are very fussy. The La Scala audiences drove out Muti, and it doesn't get more Italian than that.
The latest news is that Pereira will move from Milan to Florence to become the Intendant at Maggio Musicale.