Postcards from Milan 6

1 Comment

I have just arrived at this famous opera house La Scala. It is impossible to express how thrilling it is to see Opera Atelier’s co-artistic directors’ names listed on La Scala’s iconic season posters alongside some of the world’s greatest choreographers and stage directors.

Marshall is listed alongside that of Franco Zeffirelli, and Jeannette is opposite two of her great heroes, Marius Petipa and Jules Perrot.

What a testament to their unwavering commitment to their vision of what opera can be!

– Patricia Barretto, Opera Atelier’s Executive Director

MP in house - PB blogMarshall in the La Scala auditorium.

Read more

Postcards from Milan 5

Leave a Comment

Despite the mild, spring-like weather (or perhaps because of it) there has been a great deal of illness at La Scala. Many singers for this season’s productions Aida, Poppea and Lucio Silla have been bed-ridden.

The dancers of La Scalla Ballet are no exception. Having just returned from a tour of Giselle in Paris, many – including some of those performing in Lucio Silla – have been ill.

Yesterday, Jeannette made the difficult decision to replace two of her dancers with young men from the famous La Scala Ballet school. They have a great deal to cover stylistically and all … Read more

Postcards from Milan 4

Leave a Comment

Our conductor extraordinaire Marc Minkowski has returned from Paris along with the young mezzo superstar Marianne Crebassa (who sings the role of Cecilio for us) for Lucio Silla and stage rehearsals for Lucio Silla have commenced in earnest.

What with the participation of the superb La Scala orchestra, chorus and ballet, we thought all elements were at last in place until we received word yesterday morning that Rolando Villazon is ill and will be unable to sing at the premiere of this production.

This is sad news, but it does mean that one of Opera Atelier’s favourite artists, tenor Kresimir … Read more

Postcards from Milan 3

Leave a Comment

We have moved out of the rehearsal studios and into La Scala. Nothing could ever have prepared us for the impact of this gorgeous opera house – so redolent with history.

From the stage, the rows of crimson boxes framed in old gold reach out to you as in an embrace.

The orchestra is huge, but playing with an amazing sensitivity to conductor Marc Minkowski’s period aesthetic and the singers, dances and chorus continue to give  one hundred percent.

This is the first time Lucio Silla has played in Milan (the city for which Mozart wrote the opera) in 30 … Read more

Postcards from Milan 2


The most astonishing rehearsal day I can remember. At la Scala, time is of the essence and every artist has agreed to work extra-long hours to pull Lucio Silla together – this includes three new singers.

Jeannette and I arrived at the rehearsal studio at 9 a.m. and staging began at 10 a.m. sharp. We ran non-stop until 8 p.m. with Jeannette and me taking no lunch or dinner break, but the singers are so focused and energized, we have felt literally no drop in energy whatsoever.

All of the signers are amazing, but none more so than Soprano … Read more