As they say in the world of theatre: the show must go on.
But not at Milan’s La Scala opera house. A strike has brought the curtain down on Tuesday’s show before it’s even begun.
An appearance by Spanish tenor Placido Domingo has been cancelled after staff walked out in protest at government plans to slash spening on Italy’s 14 opera houses.
The changes would affect staff pay and benefits.
General Manager Stephane Lissner told reporters that the proposals “should nothing to do with La Scala.”
“We expect and we hope to see an exception granted for our theatre because La Scala is a theatre that is clearly different from all the others,” he said.
The historic theatre, one of the world’s most famous concert venues, opened its doors in 1778.
It has been plagued by strikes in the past. Previous Italian governments have repeatedly tried to cut funding for the country’s heavily-subsidised major opera houses.