'Beautiful lady' regains her looks and rediscovers her voice
John Hooper in Milan
Saturday November 20, 2004
Mauro Meli, the artistic director of the world's most famous opera house, raised the lapel of his jacket, buried his head inside and sang a loud "la" to show what he meant. "Before, everything was absorbing [sound]", he said. "Now, it's reflecting it."
From beyond the door of the rehearsal room came sounds of a less operatic kind - the whine of drills and the clatter of hammers - as the most ambitious and controversial revamp in La Scala's 226-year history entered its final phase.
Milan council, which has funded and managed the O60.5m (#42.5m) project, yesterday eased open the doors of the theatre to foreign journalists for the first time since work began two years ago.
What lies beyond them is still a building site. It is hoped to have the refurbished and vastly expanded La Scala ready for the traditional, glittering opening night of the Milan opera season on December 7.
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A worker repairs the curtains on the balcony at La Scala opera house in Milan, November 10, 2004. The opera house will officially reopen on December 7 with a performances of Salieri's Europa Riconsciuta, the first opera staged at La Scala when it opened in 1778. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini