Milan's Scala premiere saved as union deal reached

Tue Dec 2, 2008 7:16am EST
 
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MILAN (Reuters Life!) - The management of Milan's La Scala opera house has reached a deal with a performer's union saving Sunday's gala opening which had been at risk of cancellation because of strikes and protests.

The famed opera house, where soprano Maria Callas performed, said late on Monday the FIALS union representing orchestra and choir members had agreed to accept a new work contract.

The union has forced La Scala to cancel several performances of "The Merry Widow" last month. It had threatened to strike on December 7 for the opera house's premiere of Giuseppe Verdi's "Don Carlo" -- an 1867 opera about a tortured love affair in the 16th century Spanish royal family.

The inaugural performance is considered the social and musical highlight of the year and attracts statesmen, bankers and businessmen from around the world.

(Editing by Paul Casciato)