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Italy's House of Divas Delays a Face-Lift

June 29, 1997|CHRIS KRAUL

La Scala, Italy's legendary opera house, is staying open after all, meaning fans' right to spend up to $200 for a ticket won't be interrupted--at least not for several years.

The Milan City Council--in effect, La Scala's board of directors--had decided late last year to close the neoclassic 1778 gem for long-overdue renovation to prepare for the centennial celebration of composer Giuseppe Verdi's death.

But last month, Milan's new mayor, Gabriele Albertini, and the council decided that the timing of the renovation was cutting it too close to ensure a smooth Verdi centennial season. So they delayed the work until after 2001.

Under the original plan, the renovation was to include the auditorium and computerizing of the stage, last worked on in 1935.

La Scala's season traditionally starts in December. The Italian Government Tourist Board (tel. 310-820-0098) has general information on La Scala. Tickets range from $7 to $200.

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