Photo: AP/ Silvia Lelli/ Teatro Alla Scala.
Glitz and clamour mark La Scala's reopening night
John Hooper in Rome
Wednesday December 8, 2004
Decked out in red roses and surrounded by riot police, Milan's expanded and refurbished La Scala opera house reopened last night in wholly characteristic style - a mix of high society glitz and indignant social protest.
Outside, laid-off Alfa Romeo car workers waved red flags at the men arriving in dinner jackets and the women in their long dresses, jewels and furs.
"We want to make our voice heard against the two Milans that are to be seen here tonight, as every year," said their spokesman.
Inside, leaflets were scattered from the gallery into the auditorium at the start of the first act by Italy's ballet dancers. They were protesting at next year's budget, which includes a clause unintentionally forcing them to carry on dancing in tutus until they are 65.
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[Click here for a gallery of pictures of the reopening.]