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NEWS
May 30, 1991 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
Two days and two concerts follow the Philadelphia Orchestra's concert in Milan's Teatro alla Scala, but in reality, the musicians' European tour peaked here. Geneva and Paris will be concerts; La Scala was an epiphany. Milan is music director Riccardo Muti's other artistic home. In other theaters on the tour, his name has been posted outside the dressing rooms, written on a sheet of Philadelphia Orchestra stationery. In La Scala, his name is on the door of the office that once was Toscanini's.
NEWS
April 15, 1988 | By W. Speers, Inquirer Staff Writer Contributing to this report were the Associated Press, United Press International and the New York Daily News
Opera fans heckled, shouted down, whistled and generally disrupted Wednesday's season premiere at La Scala in Milan, Italy. The reason: Luciano Pavarotti was not in Elisir d'Amore, as advertised. It wasn't clear why he wasn't. Some said he had a cold, others said he had those dreaded artistic differences with conductor Guiseppe Patane, who drew his share of rude shouts from the audience. So did Welsh singer Marie McLaughlin ("You are an amateur!") and director Andree Ruth Shammah ("Buffoon!"
NEWS
December 8, 2008 | By Jane M. Von Bergen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Drama, passion at the opera, intrigue, betrayal, a star-crossed moment, a king topples, a star rises - a chorus swells. And that was before the curtain went up yesterday at the storied annual opening of the La Scala opera house in Milan. Because when the curtain rose, the lead tenor in Guiseppe Verdi's masterpiece, Don Carlo, was not the famous Guiseppe Filianoti, the singer listed in the program. No! It was Stuart Neill, who, until his marriage ended a few years ago, lived in Haddonfield, a graduate of the Academy of the Vocal Arts, and a regular performer in concerts around the world and the region.
NEWS
September 4, 1987 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
Milan and Muti. Flint and tinder. Whether Riccardo Muti is conducting the opera at Teatro alla Scala, where he has been music director for just a year, or conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra at La Scala, the sparks and flames leap up right away. It was true last night, when Muti led the Philadelphians in their first performance together here since he added the theater to his list of directorships. Sold out for weeks, the concert was a special addition to the theater's orchestral season, which begins next week.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 12, 2007 | By TOM DI NARDO For the Daily News
La Scala. Those words conjure an image of the world's most famous opera house, the glittering jewel of Italian vocal history in otherwise gray, gloomy Milan. The house's orchestra has toured America before, supporting operatic productions and Verdi's Requiem, but its last visit to Philadelphia as a symphonic entity was led by no less than Arturo Toscanini way back in 1921. Expanded into an ensemble for playing orchestral repertoire as well as opera 25 years ago by Claudio Abbado, and more recently by Riccardo Muti, the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala will visit tonight with Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly at its helm.
NEWS
October 15, 2007 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Cramped subterranean pits were long ago accepted as the best place to keep opera orchestras. Subservient to the enormous egos roaming about on stage, these anonymous accompanists have grown used to finding a conductor's discouraging hand in their faces with a gesture asking for less. But Friday night, opening the Kimmel Center's visiting-orchestra series, one opera orchestra deservedly had the audience asking for more. Generously, and with great style, they gave it. Riccardo Chailly led the Filarmonica della Scala in two hours of Respighi, Nino Rota and Wagner with tenor Ben Heppner, and then rewarded listeners' cheers with 20 minutes of Verdi and Rossini encores.
NEWS
April 1, 2005 | By Tirdad Derakhshani INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The operatic life and times of Riccardo Muti, music director for the last 20 years of world-renowned opera house La Scala in Milan, appears to be entering a new chapter. The embattled former music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra is ready to resign, his wife, Cristina Mazzavillani, said in an interview with Vanity Fair's Italian issue, published yesterday. This is not too shocking: The maestro's entire house walked out on him last month and demanded his removal. Muti has courted controversy because of his iron-fisted control over La Scala.
NEWS
March 26, 2009 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
When Stuart Neill's name flashed across movie theater screens worldwide during a December global simulcast from the opening night of La Scala opera house in Milan, those who had heard him over 15 years in every conceivable Philadelphia venue were likely to ask two contradictory questions: What on earth is he doing at La Scala? Then, upon hearing his fully matured Verdi tenor voice: Why hasn't he been there all along? "It's interesting, isn't it?" the 44-year-old tenor says in a voice packed with understatement - the sort not likely to be heard from him in Verdi's hell-defying Requiem on Sunday with the Mendelssohn Club at the Kimmel Center.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 25, 1992 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Columbus' voyage may have been as financially shaky as that of Milan's Teatro alla Scala, but the opera orchestra and chorus matched Columbus' determination Wednesday when they performed at Carnegie Hall as part of Italy's observance of the Columbian quincentenary. Riccardo Muti led the orchestra and chorus in the first of two performances of Verdi's Messa da Requiem. Those performances were all that survived from an originally planned grand tour with staged productions of Bellini's I Capuletti ed i Montecchi and Verdi's La Traviata in Washington, and performances of the Requiem in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 1986 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
Riccardo Muti starts a job tonight in a career move that places him among international music's top three or four decision makers and producers. He will conduct Verdi's Nabucco to open the season here at the historic Teatro alla Scala, where he begins his tenure as music director. The post at La Scala is the first title that Muti has sought outside his role as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra since he assumed that title in 1980. For those who have watched the 45-year-old conductor's path in music, the opening of La Scala would seem to represent the fulfillment of his ambitions and dreams: He now commands one of the finest orchestras in the New World, and leads one of the premiere opera houses in the Old. Muti has been trying to bring together opera and concert since he won the Cantelli Prize while still in his 20s and was invited to conduct at the Maggio Musicale in Florence.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 23, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
No matter how much conductor Claudio Abbado was idolized as the grand old man of the orchestral world, no matter how deep his performances of Bruckner symphonies before his death Monday at 80, he maintained an elegant, sometimes opaque, veneer. After a long Bruckner symphony, Abbado was seen on camera, assiduously composing himself and assuming his public face before taking an aristocratic bow. The public wouldn't guess what it took to do what he did. In recent years, those bows often included buckets of flower petals tossed on him and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra by audiences that couldn't stop expressing affection for what he had wrought.
NEWS
December 15, 2012
Lisa Della Casa, 93, who swept up crowds at opera houses of the last century with an elegant and radiant style that established her as one of the finest sopranos of her generation, died Monday in the northern Swiss town of Muensterlingen. After more than 400 performances at the Vienna State Opera, where her interpretations of many great roles, particularly those from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Richard Strauss, won her wide acclaim and appreciation, Ms. Della Casa left the opera world in 1974, apparently weary of the music business.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 10, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Opinions can be confoundingly divided between those who hear Metropolitan Opera performances at Lincoln Center and audiences at the high-def movie-theater simulcasts. Obviously, cameras rightly favor the singers over the sometimes questionable productions around them. But in the case of The Tempest , which will be beamed to six area movie theaters Saturday, the division may well be a question of urban tastes vs. others'. Or how many fools you're willing to suffer. The opera in question, which premiered in London in 2004, was created by Thomas Ad├Ęs, who has been compared in stature to the great Benjamin Britten, often deservedly so. That's a lot of artistic equity, particularly in New York, where foreign composers can still be favored over domestic ones.
FOOD
December 1, 2011 | By Michael Klein, Inquirer Columnist
Rob LaScala, whose flagship restaurant is the casual, family-friendly LaScala's at Seventh and Chestnut Streets, is launching side-by-side Italian concepts a few blocks away. Earlier this year, he bought the adjoining Old City restau-clubs Paradigm and Dolce. The Paradigm side has opened as Rocchino's (239 Chestnut St., 215-238-6900), a smart-looking spot, named after his mother's side of the family, with brick walls, a curved bar with moderately priced beers and wines, booths and table seating, and a mammoth, colorfully tiled coal-fired oven that fires up pizzas, pastas, and the like; it's billed as a rustic small-plater, but portions, especially pastas, are decent.
NEWS
October 31, 2011 | By Daniel Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Leonard Louis Lavender, the opera cabbie of the Main Line, wants to demonstrate how he got his idea of "service with a show," so he ushers me into the backseat. There's more legroom there, and it's the spot where his mystery passenger had ridden six years earlier. "I was to pick the client up at 4:30 in the morning at the Conshohocken Marriott," he says. "She had to go to the airport. " He nudges a CD into the dashboard player, and the music begins softly: a soulful Italian accordion, a bed of strings, a harp, then the unmistakable tenor of Luciano Pavarotti.
NEWS
October 6, 2011 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Julian Rodescu, 58, who parlayed a busy vocal career and a deep love of music into a day job helping young musicians reach the next career level, died Saturday. A large man with a tender heart and gentle mien, Mr. Rodescu was a familiar sight around Broad and Locust Streets, where he would often settle in with a cell phone to conduct business as artistic director of Astral Artists, an organization providing professional development for promising classical talent. He had assisted the two-decade-old group in its early days, and assumed the role of artistic director in 2009.
NEWS
September 6, 2011
Salvatore Licitra, 43, a tenor known in his Italian homeland as the "new Pavarotti" for his potent voice and considerable stamina, died Monday after spending nine days in a coma following a motorscooter accident in Sicily. Catania's Garibaldi Hospital, announcing the death, said he never regained consciousness after sustaining severe head and chest injuries in the Aug. 27 accident. The hospital said Mr. Licitra's family agreed to make his organs available for transplant. "His passing in the fullness of his career hurts," the La Scala opera house wrote in its announcement of the death.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 30, 2010 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
If there's a gift to be had from the Metropolitan Opera's wildly checkered season, it's the lack of consensus on any given event. Operagoers don't know whom to believe anymore - they have to believe themselves. So even though Rossini's Armida was limp on every front when heard on April 19 in the opera house, the HD cameras might well work some sort of wizardry for the finale of the Met's movie-theater simulcasts at 1 p.m. Saturday in seven area locations. The production might have been the ultimate star vehicle for Renee Fleming, 51, if her voice still suited the music.
NEWS
March 26, 2009 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
When Stuart Neill's name flashed across movie theater screens worldwide during a December global simulcast from the opening night of La Scala opera house in Milan, those who had heard him over 15 years in every conceivable Philadelphia venue were likely to ask two contradictory questions: What on earth is he doing at La Scala? Then, upon hearing his fully matured Verdi tenor voice: Why hasn't he been there all along? "It's interesting, isn't it?" the 44-year-old tenor says in a voice packed with understatement - the sort not likely to be heard from him in Verdi's hell-defying Requiem on Sunday with the Mendelssohn Club at the Kimmel Center.
NEWS
December 8, 2008 | By Jane M. Von Bergen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Drama, passion at the opera, intrigue, betrayal, a star-crossed moment, a king topples, a star rises - a chorus swells. And that was before the curtain went up yesterday at the storied annual opening of the La Scala opera house in Milan. Because when the curtain rose, the lead tenor in Guiseppe Verdi's masterpiece, Don Carlo, was not the famous Guiseppe Filianoti, the singer listed in the program. No! It was Stuart Neill, who, until his marriage ended a few years ago, lived in Haddonfield, a graduate of the Academy of the Vocal Arts, and a regular performer in concerts around the world and the region.
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