AP Interview: Muti says culture good for economy

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Wary about stepping into any La Scala controversy now, Muti sidestepped a question about its season opener.

Some Italians are fuming that La Scala’s gala opening night next month is featuring the German composer Richard Wagner’s “Lohengrin,” conducted by Daniel Barenboim, and not an opera by Verdi, the Italian composer so identified with La Scala.

Next year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of both composers.

“They were both giants,” said Muti, rising from the couch to descend to the orchestra pit to lead Teatro dell'Opera’s orchestra in a rehearsal to go late into the night. “They made the mistake to be born in the same year.

“It’s their fault,” he added with a twinkle in his eye.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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