Just in: Tradition broken as La Scala permits encore in Rigoletto

Just in: Tradition broken as La Scala permits encore in Rigoletto


norman lebrecht

January 14, 2016

The ovations were so long and loud last night at the end of the second act of Rigoletto that Leo Nucci and Nadine Serra repeated the cabaletta, in front of the curtain.

This was the first Verdi encore sung at Scala since Riccardo Muti repeated Va, pensiero in Nabucco in 1988 (source: La Scala archives). The prohibition on repeats in Verdi was instituted by Arturo Toscanini, back in the mists of time.


  • Hanna Nahan says:

    Florez encored ‘Pour mon ame’ from La Fille du Regiment at Scala a few years ago…

  • Alvaro says:

    So….not only was there a general ban, but the ban was on encoring verdi specifically?

    So whats tomorrows “NEWS”: “BROKEN TRADITION!! Extra!! EXTRA!! Soprano farts twice, breaking a Ban instituted by toscanini in 1900 as he passed out during rehearsal”….

    The need for news is ASTONISHING….

  • Milka says:

    Nothing new here except it is an Italian opera house –Kiepura used to do encores
    at the Vienna opera…..sort of takes away from it being an art to being a circus,
    the high wire acts being the voice.

  • Mon Coeur A Ta Doux Voix says:

    These old eyes have seen a few manufactured encores, mainly in second houses. And twice in the same opera????? (You can tell it’s phoney-baloney when the conductor immediately looks expectant, and then starts rubbing his hands . . . ) But a true encore, spontaneously demanded by an audience insane with pleasure? Better than rubies!

  • Flora says:

    Well deserved!! Incredible performance!! Nadine’s voice is exceptional!

    • Dave Rosenbaum says:

      Flora: You were there? Can you tell us what actually happened?

      • Roberto says:

        Hello Dave, I was there… and it was just amazing… “old” Nucci playing the role of his life (515 times) together with the new star Nadine… magic!
        it was a spark between the audience, the orchestra, intendant A. Pereira, maestro Luisotti… grande opera at it best, just the way it should be…
        This was pure italian passion and I think even Maestro Toscanini was smiling somewhere in the clouds …;-)
        by the way: went from Switzerland to Milan, will never forget this evening…

  • stanley cohen says:

    Pace la Scala, I was under the impression that it was obligatory to encore Va Pensiero.

  • Don Fatale says:

    It was back to bis-ness at the second performance today. Nucci and Sierra came out for the usual end of act II bows, arms tight around each other in father/daughter fashion. An extended ovation and lots of shouts of ‘bis’. They look to the superintendent in a stage box, who I guess gave them the nod. Nadine is hopping with childish excitement! The “Si Vendetta” duet finale is then performed in front of the curtain. It was a lovely moment. Curiously, it seemed more spontaneous and joyful at the 2nd show than at the 1st.