The music Director: Riccardo Chailly

By Teatro Alla Scala

Concerto Riccardo Chailly - Sinfonia N. 7 In Mi Magg. (vers. L. Nowak)Teatro Alla Scala

Riccardo Chailly, the milanese Maestro (2015-present)

Riccardo Chailly is a conductor long steeped in La Scala tradition. When he became La Scala’s principal conductor in 2015, and two years later music director, he had already forged a glittering career in Europe (including as Chief Conductor of the Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and of Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra).

Concerto Riccardo Chailly - Concerto In Si Min. Op. 104Teatro Alla Scala

Cutting his teeth

Chailly started his career at La Scala, becoming Abbado’s assistant at 20, before making his house debut standing for Gavazzeni in a 1978 production of Verdi’s I masnadieri. In 2018, Chailly celebrated two 40-year anniversaries: of his relationship with recording company Decca and with La Scala.

Filarmonica Riccardo Chailly - Manfred Op.115Teatro Alla Scala

Over the years Chailly has conducted a vast repertoire at La Scala ranging from Verdi and Rossini to Stravinsky, Musorgsky, Prokof'ev and Offenbach. In his capacity as musical director, he has concentrated his operatic activity and recording commitment on the Italian repertoire. By relaunching the orchestra's international tours, he has chosen to present mainly the international symphonic repertoire, including Beethoven's symphonies in the bicentennial year.

TurandotTeatro Alla Scala

Chailly and Puccini

A full Puccini cycle featuring mainly critical editions of his operas has been one key feature of Chailly’s tenure. In 2015, the conductor performed Turandot with Luciano Berio’s alternative ending based on Puccini’s 24 unfinished sketches. The following year, he presented the original version of Madama Butterfly, described after the 1904 La Scala premiere as a “lynching”.

Tosca 2019Teatro Alla Scala

Later that year, Chailly performed a critical edition of La fanciulla del West, in which modifications by Toscanini, made to fatten up the score for its 1910 premiere at the cavernous New York Met, were removed. In 2019, he opened the season with a critical edition of Tosca starring Anna Netrebko and Francesco Meli and featuring material expunged after the work’s 1900 Rome premiere.

Giovanna D'arcoTeatro Alla Scala

Homegrown repertoire returns

Rarely-performed works created for La Scala have also been revived by Chailly. His inaugural production as music director was of Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco, a work that premiered at La Scala in 1845 but had been missing for 150 years.

Andrea ChénierTeatro Alla Scala

In 2017, Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, first performed at La Scala in 1896, returned for the first time in 32 years.

La Gazza LadraTeatro Alla Scala

Rossini’s La gazza ladra won a “delirious” reception at its 1817 La Scala premiere, wrote Stendhal; exactly two centuries later, Chailly brought it back for its first La Scala performance in 176 years.

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curated by James Imam and the Teatro alla Scala

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