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Italy's La Scala cancels opening night after chorus goes on strike

Milan's famous La Scala theatre has cancelled opening night of "Romeo and Juliet" ballet due to strike of the performers

AFP, Thursday 20 Dec 2012
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La Scala Theatre (photo: Reuters)
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The opening night at Milan's famed La Scala opera house was cancelled on Wednesday, after the chorus for the "Romeo and Juliet" ballet performance went on strike.

"The management of the Theatre deeply regrets to announce that due to a strike the premiere of the ballet 'Romeo et Juliette', which opens our ballet season, is cancelled," La Scala said, after attempts to come to an agreement with the 74 choristers fell flat.

The show had already sparked clashes between the performers and management, after the ballerinas claimed that an angled platform used as part of the prestigious theatre's modernist set was causing them severe back-pain.

Both dancers and chorus threatened to strike, and while the ballerinas called their revolt off on Wednesday, the choristers upheld their protest, forcing the show's cancellation.

According to Italian media reports, the singers protested at having to appear on stage in costume in the production, rather than perform hidden from view as usual.

They were also reportedly asked to learn the music by heart, rather than have the score in front of them.

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