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Strike shuts down opera productions in Italy

La Scala cancelled last night's performance of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra with tenor Placido Domingo because of a strike called by unions protesting against government emergency measures regarding the finances of Italy's 14 opera houses.

The dispute also led to the cancellation of two performances of Die Frau Ohne Schatten during the Florentine Musical May in Florence, and a premiere on 13 May of Wagner's Das Rheingold at La Scala.

Domingo has so far given four performances of Boccanegra in his first engagement since undergoing surgery for cancer in March.