La Scala chief's anger over lack of state funding for the arts
The artistic director of La Scala has warned that the celebrated opera house is "dangerously close" to privatisation, as public funding for the arts continues to dry up.
Stephane Lissner told a meeting organised by Italy's CGIL trade union that if cuts eat into the venue's finances "just a little bit more", then the theatre will be "dangerously close to being privatised".
In 1998, 61 per cent of La Scala's funding came from the state. But by 2011, the proportion had fallen to 47 per cent. This year, just 37.5 per cent will come from government coffers.
"Elsewhere in Europe the least-subsidised institution can rely on 50 per cent public funding," Mr Lissner said. Around 60 per cent of funding for The Paris Opera comes from the state and Vienna State Opera is about 55 per cent publicly funded.
Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper reported La Scala now pays €36m (£30m) in taxes, €6m more than it receives in funding. Lorenzo Ornaghi, the Culture Minister, said the privatisation of La Scala was not on the cards and has pledged to fight for more money for opera.
Mr Lissner said that the "real problem", other than the economic crisis, was the tiny amount the state spends on arts and culture. La Scala is in no immediate financial danger, unlike several other lyric theatres.
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3, review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton - really?
The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove