Italy launches a private opera company

Italy launches a private opera company


norman lebrecht

May 20, 2015

Graham Spicer at Gramilano has exclusive and exciting news of the birth of an Italian opera company dedicated to the baroque. All of its members are under 30.

‘Coin du Roi is the first private opera company in Italy for at least the last 200 years. History shows us that our structure is an efficient one, that of the palchettisti [individually owned boxes in the theatre] which we propose today in the form of a membership which will create a new type of cultural patronage,’ claims its music director, Christian Frattima.

We wish them every success. More here.



  • william osborne says:

    The privatization of cultural funding will be as disastrous for Italy as it is for the USA. Indeed, Berlusconi and Co. have set the country back 200 years.

    • Greg Hlatky says:

      What’s your concern? That it might fail? Or that it might succeed?

      • william osborne says:

        Oh, that it will succeed. When it moves to the American model, Italy will eventually have a rich operatic landscape just like the USA — which has about one genuinely functional opera house for every 60 million people. That would leave Italy with about one house. There is no doubt that neo-con America should be the model for everything. Now let’s all get back to watching Fox News…

        • Greg Hlatky says:

          Nulla salus extra republica.

        • Dennis says:

          Ah yes, the old Fox News and Neo-Con canard, favorite “go to” argument for lazy leftists everywhere: Anyone opposed to total state control of the economy and culture, and in favor of any private initiative, must be some ignorant rube who just watches Fox News all day and loves to bomb things.

          Mussolini would be proud, Mr. Osborne: “Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

          Ah yes, the old Fox news and Neo-con canard

          • william osborne says:

            Tell it to 500 million Europeans in 30 countries, all of whom has extensive systems of public arts support. Too bad they don’t have Bill O’Reilly and the courageous “Dennis” hiding behind a pseudonym…

  • Dennis says:

    An exciting new privately-funded and controlled initiative begins, yet Lebrecht’s headline demonstrates a way of thinking mired in the statist-oriented ideas of the past that: “ITALY Launches a Private Opera Company.”

    Well, no, actually. ITALY did no such thing, some individual Italians did. There’s a big difference between the two. But, as William Osborne’s comment demonstrates along with Lebrecht’s headline, the mindset that sees the state as the primary preferred source of arts patronage – through funds forcibly confiscated from people in the form of taxes, of course – is a difficult one to break.

    Good luck to Coin du Roi.

    • CDH says:

      Pretty much excludes those who cannot afford to pay a sustaining figure for their seat, then, if this company plans to use professionals, costumes, sets, etc.

      Private sponsorship exists in every country. But state sponsorship exists to sustain the arts and make then accessible to all. The absence of this in the United States has produced the culture it has — do you ever read the woeful reports on sales of classical music in these columns? Or look at what dominates best-seller lists? Or look around for non-white hair whenever you attend a concert? Or stop 20 people in the middle of New York City and ask them to name three classical composers?

    • William Safford says:

      Thank you, Ayn Rand.

      • Dennis says:

        Good argument. One hardly need be a fan of Ayn Rand (which I am not, though this is not the place to get into detail about all the problems with Rand), to support private initiatives and to not think every cultural endeavor must be funded and controlled by the state.

        But, I guess, like Mr. Osborne, we should all hope for the failure of this plucky upstart opera company, lest they encourage others to stop sucking from the public teat and do something interesting and new on their own.

        • William Safford says:

          Oh, I wish this private initiative well. It sounds like an interesting project.

          It’s your comments about taxation — “funds forcibly confiscated from people in the form of taxes, of course” — that are Objectivist and very much Ayn Randian.