Riccardo Muti endorses La Scala’s new chief

Riccardo Muti endorses La Scala’s new chief


norman lebrecht

July 31, 2019

The former music director has told the newspaper Il Giornale that, while he admires La Scala’s incoming sovrintendente Dominique Meyer, he has not plans to conduct there again.

‘I think (Meyer) is going to do a great job at La Scala,’ said Muti, who turned 78 this week. ‘The problem is that I no longer know the Scala orchestra and I do not know how it plays.’

Muti walked out of La Scala in 2005 after nearly 20 years in charge.



  • Nik says:

    Oops.. he’s off Bartoli’s Christmas card list.

  • Novagerio says:

    He did not “walk out” of La Scala, he was asked to leave by “his own” orchestra.

    • Tristan says:

      an orchestra that has played magnificent under him and before with Abbado and many other great Italian Maestri and even with non Italians like Karajan or Kleiber

  • sam says:

    Well, in another year, he will have been away from La Scala longer than he was there. The longer you’re gone, the higher the expectations if you return. But his recent turns at a staged Aida in Vienna and a concert Aida in Chicago — even with Netrebko in the former as Aida and Anita Rachvelishvili in the latter as Amneris — only got him good reviews, not great. If he wants a triumphant return to La Scala, he’ll need to come up with something spectacular, one-in-a-century performance. Take Barenboim’s return to Chicago after about the same length of absence as a cautionary tale: he conducted Ma Vlast for the first time with Chicago, but alas, Hrusa made a spectacular debut with the piece only 1 or 2 years back, so even without the comparison, the hall was not filled for Barenboim and the reviews were lukewarm even dismissive.

  • Fiddlist says:

    Muti is so out of it… Blackhawks haven’t won the Cup in years!

  • Rgiarola says:

    He is just confirming he likes to work if his chap, but without playing the role of “the sherrif”, as he used to do while MD of Scalla. It is tge biggest reason he had to go in 2005, since he had already raised too many influents against him.
    It was about time and more than expected behaviour by Milan. A step for a invitation, PERHAPS.
    Concerning the not really great Aida reviews in Chicago, I don’t think it’s really impress the closed minds of Scalla. Besides it, everyone has a bad hair day. I can still remember at the end of 80’s, Berlin finnishing before Karajan’s time indication. I was young and started to laugh it loud. What a devil…

    • Novagerio says:

      The difference Mister Rgiarola, is that Karajan sold gazillions of records (in fact, he STILL does), and that he turned his musicians into multimillionaires.

      • Rgiarola says:

        Indeed, but comparing Muti with most youngers conductors, the sells also get hughely higher different. Karajan was 33 years older, living in a world that LPs could make a fortune. Sells of records don’t make even popstars multimilionaries since the 90’s, and getting worst every year. That’s the numbers of the music industry, guilty for not been able to follow the changes of times. I don’t think we can blame any artists or compare between eras. What would Caruso, Toscanini, or Furtwangler would do if they could record in Stereo or digital and had the same logistic of the biggest record labs in the 70’s?Smash Karajan sells figures, perhaps.

  • Hornbill says:

    I recall an interview in The Times a year or two ago in which Mr Muti said that he had given up conducting staged operas as they have almost universally gone too far down the route of regitheater. The expression quoted was something along the lines of “theatrical production of the director with incidental music by Wagner/Verdi (or whoever)”

  • Rob says:

    One of the great interpreters of In The South

  • avi kujman says:

    Oh, if there is a question who won, there is none one. la scala does not stop to say sorry or ask for the return of Riccardo, from letters to pictures’ show the intention of which is to celebrate the time with the conductor. Riccardo Muti will play soon with the orchestra, not opera. tickets are 300 dollars. It is that crazy. with his replacer, they did Wagner and Furtwangler in Verdi and did more Wagner than Verdi in 200th for Verdi. it will make him so sad. and he knows enough to know that, so, I guess, he prefers not to know. His replacer was in Israel with la scala. it was my first Wagner and it was Verdi. Those women on the front shouting at the nothingness of the world… the thing about the reviews; it is a hubris and this review at the NYT was one of the stupid things I ever read.