The Maggio Musicale company have been ordered home by the Mayor of Florence. They were meant to be performing Tosca and Forza del Destino in Tokyo but singers were told last night to pack their bags after two nervous soloists had withdrawn unilaterally and flown home at their own expense.
Two chorus members stepped up to replace them and conductor Zubin Mehta and intendant Francesca Colombo made strenuous efforts to have the show go on, arguing that the shattered people of Tokyo needed music now more than ever.
However, unions representing the orchestra, stagehands and chorus warned that they should not be exposed to nuclear radiation – not that there is any risk in Tokyo itself – and the tour was called off after only two performances, one of each opera.
If anyone has further details of the shambles, please post them here.