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Mehta: “Bondi is shameless”

zubin_mehtaDuring rehearsals for the upcoming Rigoletto from Mantova, Zubin Mehta attacks Sandro Bondi, Berlusconi’s Minister of Culture. Mehta is angry, and by his own admission, he becomes “cattivo”, nasty, when speaking about the financial cuts of the Berlusconi government in the opera houses.

Mehta adds, “I hope this Rigoletto may serve as inspiration. I hope the Government, which does all these cuts, will watch it”, referring to the Carlo Felice in Genova, where all the employees are receiving redundancy payments.

He calls Minister Bondi “shameless”, adding that the Minister did not even have the courage to come to Florence to talk with us, a reference to the cuts to the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Even last month the Maggio Musicale has received two further millions of euros in cuts. The Government will not pay the Maggio’s tour to Japan, although they had originally promised they would have paid the trip in occasion of the 150 years from the unification of Italy.

“Florence is where opera was born, and there are no big industries here like in Turin or Milan. We only have Gucci and Ferragamo”. He then praised RAI for not canceling the Rigoletto production.  [La Repubblica]

11 comments

  • Dawson says:

    Is this Rigoletto going to be broadcast in the US as well?

  • Baltsamic Vinaigrette says:

    Things are looking very grim for Italian opera. Folks might not care for the Bondy Tosca, but a Bondi Tosca, it seems, could not even exist.

  • Camille says:

    What is the “quindicennio di dissesti e malagestione” specifically referring to? The reign of terror of Berlusconi? Why does he say Maestro Mehta doesn’t know what he talking about

    …And last but not least, why is Don Placidone going to attempt a role like Rigoletto @ age almostt-70? Why does he continue? Why doesn’t he do just ONE thing well? I used to love him but the whole spectacle is becoming embarrassing.

    • La Cieca says:

      When reached for comment, Domingo said:

      • Camille says:

        Personally, I prefer the Estelle Liebling high oppure to the come scritto on this one.

        One wonders what the daemon that controls Domingo does to keep him careening onward like a whirligig through time and space? I’m beginning to feel he’s Dr. Faustus.

  • I am not exactly sure what “malagestione” Bondi is talking about, even because the government to which he belongs has been in power for most of the last 15 years. He is an incompetent, slimy, servile man, a turn-coat who had no problems switching parties when lured by Berlusconi. He writes and publishes poetry extolling the virtues of his master.

    • Camille says:

      It all gives me mal digestione.

      I bitterly rue this current state of affairs in the land of la lirica. There seems to be no solution nor hope for a better future. Who would ever have imagined the Ricordi magazzini, e.g., would all disappear…? Triste sorte!

  • Avantialouie says:

    Any country that allows its art to become the political puppet of those currently (and inevitably temporarily) in power is doomed. For years, Italy has doled out lavish governmental subsidies to the arts not on the basis of merit (or even on the basis of need,) but on the basis of political loyalty. Italy is now reaping the whirlwind--quite justly, I might add.

  • MontyNostry says:

    For a moment, I thought that headline was condemning excessive displays of bare flesh on a famous beach in Sydney.