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Crisis forces Italy's La Scala to cut back on productions

An overview of La Scala opera house is seen in this undated photo released by La Scala press office in Milan on April 20,2012. REUTERS/Bresc
An overview of La Scala opera house is seen in this undated photo released by La Scala press office in Milan on April 20,2012. REUTERS/Bresc

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's opera house La Scala will scale back on productions in the 2013-2014 season because of the economic crisis and lower state support, its general manager said on Thursday.

Stephane Lissner told reporters the Milan theatre will reduce the number of operas to 10 instead of the usual 13 due to a decline in revenues.

They will include three by Giuseppe Verdi to celebrate the 200th birthday of the composer, born in 1813. Verdi's "La Traviata" will open the season on December 7, conducted by Daniele Gatti.

Lissner said he had resisted suggestions of raising ticket prices, cutting back on the number of rehearsals or closing down the theatre's school.

He said only 36 percent of La Scala's budget in 2012, worth around 115 million euros ($148 million), was funded by the state, with the rest coming from ticket and subscription revenues as well as private sponsorships.

State financing to the opera house was cut by 7 million euros in 2012, and no additional support is expected this year, La Scala said in January.

($1 = 0.7751 euros)

(Reporting By Ilaria Polleschi, editing by Paul Casciato)

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