La Scala remembers De Sabata

La Scala remembers De Sabata


norman lebrecht

November 17, 2017

In a sweet and sentimental touch, the opening of the La Scala season next month will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of a former – and formative – music director, Victor De Sabata.

The opening production was confirmed today:



Riccardo Chailly conducts Andrea Chénier


Giordano’s masterpiece returns to La Scala for the Opening of the 2017/2018 Season in a production staged by Mario Martone with sets by Margherita Palli and costumes by Ursula Patzak.

The title role is played by Yusif Eyvazov, Anna Netrebko is Maddalena di Coigny, and Luca Salsi plays Gérard. The Première is dedicated to Victor de Sabata on the fiftieth anniversary of his death.

Once again this year, the Première will be broadcast live on RAI 1 and in cinemas around the world.




  • Anonymous says:

    Will they be able to hear Eyvazov over the sound of De Sabata spinning in his grave?

    • Olassus says:

      It will be interesting to hear how he does. This is a big moment for him, the festa di Sant’Ambrogio at La Scala in a title role. As to your comment, projection has not been his problem, from all I have read. Mainly he will need to watch his line and muster some expression through the tone. De Sabata did not conduct, actually, when Callas sang Maddalena there, although he had worked with her on I vespri siciliani, Macbeth and Tosca. Andrea Chénier at La Scala:

      1955 – Votto/Callas/del Monaco/Protti
      1985 – Chailly/Marton/Carreras/Cappuccilli
      2017 – Chailly/Netrebko/Eyvazov/Salsi

      • Anonymous says:

        He shouts, he doesn’t project – which is why there is no line and no expression. She’s doing the same of late.

        And both of them seem to sing vowels found nowhere in the Italian language…

        • Ungeheuer says:

          Correct. Not to mention her increasingly sloppy intonation. In any case, we have no De Sabata and certainly no Callas. Make no mistake.

          • Anonymous says:

            Her sloppy intonation is a result of her over-extended jaw. She produces no first partial, the overtone to which good singers pitch.

            She’s running through roles quickly to mask the faults in the singing.

      • Fred says:

        that’s how far historical memory goes…..sad
        De Sabata DID conduct Chenier in a stellar cast:
        Prime Del Monaco and prime Tebaldi and prime Silveri
        NOBODY can beat that today, though Netrebko will have some standard

  • Cubs Fan says:

    If they really want to honor the man, they should mount one of his operas. I want to hear Lisistrata!

  • herrera says:

    It is becoming clear with each new major role Netrebko tackles (at an astounding turn over rate!), that she is more than good, and worth the price of the ticket, but she in no way is taking over the mantle from those who owned the role.

    As for Mr. Netrebko, let just say his career will depend on the stability of his marriage.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    This tribute is richly deserved. Victor de Sabata was one of the greatest Italian conductors, indeed one of the greatest conductors ever. It’s fitting that the conductor leading this new production of Andrea Chenier is one of the best living conductors, well versed in opera and an Italian.

  • Seth Lubin says:

    The unique experience of seeing Tebaldi and Corelli sing CHENIER in 1966 makes it difficult to hear other singers in those roles. That afternoon (preserved on tape) also found the splendid Colzani conducted by Gardelli.

    Sadly at La Scala, today there are few Italian voices. Chenier needs real Italianate voices to come alive. No matter how well Netrebko and hubbie will try there is no real Italianate flame in their blood.