Opera Ups and Downs

Stephane Lissner, intendant of La Scala, warns that his house might have to close, The Italian culture budget has been cut 40% from its top. “Almost all foundations that manage the opera houses of Italy must close” he said this during the news conference for the new season in Milan. That city’s opening night is to be televised live in Europe on Tuesday. In other news the new intendant,  also French, running the Vienna State Opera reports, in Die Presse, that his first hundred days had a 99.8% capacity – only two performances failed to sell out. And this includes a first ever production of Hindemith’s opera Cardillac and the first baroque opera staged there in recent memory, Handel’s Alcina.

Today I read in the NY Times that US lawmakers are thinking of eliminating the charitable contribution deduction. This critical tax deduction has been the fundamental financial source for funding of arts in America.  I’m glad I live in France.

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