Curtain Raiser

The Teatro alla Scala's sparkling inauguration in Milan on Dec. 7 was a triumphant return to form. Italy's bel mondo turned out to see maestro Riccardo Muti conduct Italian composer Antonio Salieri's Europa Riconosciuta (Europa Revealed)—which hadn't been performed since its original production for La Scala's inauguration in 1778. If you didn't manage to snag a $2,650 super-prima ticket, there are repeat performances until mid-January.
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But it was the renovated theater, restored to its 18th century magnificence and technologically catapulted into the 21st century after $81.3 million and 30 months, that received the biggest raves. To improve the acoustics, renovators...

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