The Teatro Regio audience is unhappy with the political dismantling of a decade’s success.
I haven’t been following Italian politics of late, and so I’m wondering if there are specific reasons the 5 Star party wants to change the Teatro Regio. The Regio is notable for its movmenets toward a private funding model like used in the USA. This was part of a largertrend initiated by Berlusconi, and others even before him, to dismantle Italy’s social democracy, including its system of public arts funding. As part of this, all of the radio orchestras were eliminated but one. And funding was reduced for Italy’s state opera houses (there are 13 or 14 of them) with the stipulation that they find private sponsors.
Here’s a description of these changes from the Regio website:
“In 1998, the Italian opera associations became, by act of Parliament, private-law foundations. This allows greater managerial dynamism, and above all, constitutes an incentive to find, in the areas of Italian business, industry, and finance, partners capable of participating in the life of the Theatre through investments of economic resources that increase productivity and improve the quality of the staging.”
The Regio was strongly associated with these new economic philosophies of neoliberalism (privatization, small government, market fundamentalism, open borders, free trade.) And inevitably, Noseda became a figure also associated with these developments. I’m wondering if this is part of why the 5 Star movement, which is vaguely anti-neoliberal, wants to see some changes. Anyone know?
The move toward more privitization of Italy’s opera houses has not worked well. Italy’s two big industrial centers, Milan and Turin, were able to find private funding, but the other 12 or so state houses weren’t because they were not based in such big financial centers. We thus see Italy moving toward the American model where there is only one full time opera house for a super rich country of 320 million people, and in a country that ranks 39th in the world for opera performances per capita. Conditions like this would be tragic for Italy which gave birth to opera.
Add Venice to the top Italian opera houses. Despite the small local population, La Fenice theatre managed to keep great quality and financial stability through tourism.
Billy, can I ask your opinion about kinda matter?
Do you think Lula isn’t guilty?
Do you know that artists have to wait a year to be paid for performing at Teatro Regio ? It used to be one of the few theater in Italy that paid on time , now people have to wait a year . Obviously something went very wrong in the past couple years…
It’s true and it’s shameful. It’s also an example of how politics can damage a well run theatre. Local administrations started delaying already programmed contributions. The city administration even decided to pay by giving the theatre buildings instead of money, and the theatre was supposed to sell those buildings in order to fund its activities. Bad news, one of those buildings was a venue of the Turin Conservatory. How was the theatre supposed to throw music students on the road to monetize the city contribution? So they had to resort to banks and pay loads of interest.
These things damage the theatre’s reputation and stability in a way that politicians cannot imagine.
It’s more of a local matter. Turin has been administered in the last twenty or so years by center-left parties. In the 2016 elections a mayor of the 5 Star Movement was elected, and since then they have been systematically replacing managers that had been appointed by the previous administration, independently on how they operated. Some financial turmoil at Teatro Regio, whose actual extent and causes have not been fully disclosed yet, gave the opportunity to replace its General Manager. According to Italian law, once the General Manager loses his/her position, the Music Director must leave as well. Nothing would prevent the new General Manager from confirming Noseda in this position though, but he doesn’t look intentioned to really consider it, and Noseda himself made it clear anyway that he’s not willing to seek reconfirmation.
I hope Noseda will replace Harding in Paris.
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