During 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]