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Subject: Re: La Scala
From: A Katalin Mitchell <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:A Katalin Mitchell <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 20 May 2017 12:07:05 -0400

text/plain (88 lines)

Based on my experiences as a tourist in Europe, though the locals dress up to show off their money and status, there are always tourists who have neither, but wish to have the experience of a magnificent house like the Scala or La Fenice and see a performance there.  I usually take a nice outfit with me for these occasions, but it is harder for men, since a jacket takes up a lot of room in a carry-on suitcase.  I was at La Scala for a recital last summer, and some people were dressed up, but there were plenty  who were not. Of course it was not an opera production.  The reason the dress code is on the ticket is to remind people not to show up in shorts and t shirts, but if you don’t wish to travel with a suit jacket, a tie will do the job. And they will not throw you out either if you don’t wear a tie.  I will never forget our experience in Frankfurt when my husband and I were the guests of my brother who lived there at the time, and he took us to see Forza…. We had little money and spent several weeks in Europe, so a suit was not one of our priorities when packing;  though I had a long cotton summer dress with me which almost passed, but my husband had neither jacket nor tie, so we told him not to worry, and he wore a nice shirt and a light sweater.  Well, at the Frankfurt Opera, at least at that time (45 years ago) during intermission the auditorium empties, and the entire audience walks around in a circle in the enormous foyer, and everyone stares at everyone else and what they are wearing. My husband was the only person not wearing a suit and a tie, and they never stopped staring at him.  But he survived the experience, and we had a beautiful opera performance to remember. In other words, take what you can, wear what you like, and don’t worry about the Milanesi.  You wont meet them again…

On 5/20/17, 11:35 AM, "Discussion of opera and related issues on behalf of Alain Letort" <[log in to unmask] on behalf of [log in to unmask]> wrote:

    Hi, Henry and Listers :
    Based upon my experience at Venice’s La Fenice two weeks ago — it can’t be very 
    different from La Scala — I would say a jacket and tie would be “de rigueur.”  All the men 
    were wearing coats and ties, including myself.  The days before the performance I 
    happened to see in a shoe-shop window in the Strada Nuova a beautiful pair of elegant 
    suede shoes that exactly matched the color of my jacket, so I just *had* to have them.  I 
    am glad I made the extra effort  because the audience members were extremely stylishly 
    dressed, not “bling,” but with understated, dignified elegance.  I could tell their clothes 
    were of very high quality.  I did not feel out of place in my nice duds and spiffy Italian 
    Milan is perhaps the world’s capital of style and fashion these days.  May Milanesi have 
    lots of money and like to show off their beautiful clothes.  I think you would stick out in 
    anything other than a suit and tie.  My last experience at La Scala dates back to 35 years 
    ago, and back then people were very well dressed indeed.  My recent experience at La 
    Fenice leads me to believe that that is still the case.
    Besides, you will be attending one of the most beautiful and elegant theaters in the world.  
    (Although personally I think La Fenice, albeit much smaller, is more beautiful than La 
    Scala.)  Wouldn’t you want to do honor to your surroundings, to your fellow audience 
    members, and to the performers by dressing up as well as you can?  Remember, you will 
    be in someone else’s country, and you don’t want to offend your hosts by dressing down.
    BTW, you haven’t told us what you will be seeing, or who will be singing.  Inquiring minds 
    want to know.
    Cheers and all the best,
    Alain Letort
    Washington, D.C.
    Des Ungeheuers Höhle
    On Sat, 20 May 2017 11:27:58 +0300, Henry <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
    >In a few weeks' time, herself and I will be going to La Scala for the
    >first time.  Looking at the ticket, I see the following:
    >> Please observe a dress code appropriate for the Theatre.
    >Now, I'm wondering just what that means, exactly. I'm not really a
    >coat-and-tie sort of person but I've never been among the conspicuously
    >inappropriate ones at Covent Garden or the Met. Would La Scala be
    >similar to those houses in this regard or is it more on the Glyndebourne
    >end of the scale?
    >Thanks in advance.
    >Henry Larsen
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