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Drama at La Scala opening night gala
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Opera season's opening night at La Scala ends in disharmony

Behind-the-scenes recording after production of Verdi’s Joan of Arc reveals ugly spat between director Moshe Leiser and conductor Riccardo Chailly

in Rome

Wednesday 9 December 2015

It looked like the first night of La Scala’s production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Joan of Arc had gone off without a hitch, despite fears that the famous Milanese opera house could be the target of a terror attack.

But days after the curtains fell on the opera season opener, a behind-the-scenes audio recording has revealed an ugly spat between the Belgian director, Moshe Leiser, and the Italian opera conductor, Riccardo Chailly.

“I’m here, congratulations maestro, really congratulations,” Leiser can be heard saying in English. After a pause, he then screams “asshole”. To add an Italian insult to injury, he is then heard muttering the words “stronzo di merda” (piece of shit).

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