The famed La Scala opera house has often been rocked by behind the scenes intrigues which threaten to eclipse the performances. Opening night was no exception with American tenor Stuart Neill a late and unexpected substitution in the leading role of Don Carlo. He’d taken the place place of Giuseppi Filianoti who had allegedly made mistakes in the dress rehearsal.
Filianoti admitted he wasn’t at his best but he didn’t expected to be sacked. Don Carlo is said to be one of the most challenging roles in opera He said: “La Scala wanted me to say I was sick. But I, Giuseppe Filianoti, am in perfect condition.” He told reporters he felt he d been stabbed in the back. He added that he held no malice and wished La Scala all the good it deserved.
A La Scala spokesman said the musical director had full discretion to substitute cast members at any time and Neill seemed to be in better shape than Filianoti. Despite the back stage drama, critics said Mr Neill had turned in a solid performance.