Diva Does La Scala

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That’s me – on the right – the very young Diva.

Everyone has a fantasy right? Not that kind!!!  The kind where we see ourselves, as Walter Mitty did, the conquerer of all things.  I was going to be an actress who really wanted to be a cabaret singer with a dirty ditty or two.  Life has been an interesting journey and some of the roads had me on stage, on film and singing a dirty ditty or two.  Another road led me to Westminter Choir College to create an Arts Administration Major & Minor.  It was at Westminster – where I was blessed to work with the brightest of the bright students who were also incredible singers – that my secret inner Diva started worming her way out.  Every day on that wonderful Princeton Campus I would hear incredible vocal music floating out of studios.  Opera!  I want to sing on the really big stage.  Now my voice ain’t ever going to get me there but wow what a fantasy.  I think it’s really the costumes I want – imagine those head dresses!!!!

We were in Milan on my birthday and I decided that the present I wanted was to explore Teatro alla Scala.  The day before, I went to the ticket booth to see if we could get tickets.  It didn’t matter what we saw – I just wanted to get inside the place and absorb the centuries of music.

 It’s my birthday – of course I want to sit in the orchestra wear pearls and hope the paparazzi snap my photo.  €250 a ticket?  What??  OK, how about the next ring – sold out?  No, No, I will not sit up there with the Gods.  Saddened by my poor planning – yes of course you can buy tickets on line.  Yes of course we could have bought them months ago.  I tearfully departed, stopped and started dancing in the street.

We would still get in. The  I would still absorb the magic of La Scala and it would only cost us €5 or less – thank you for those biglietti per cittadini anziani – by visiting the museum.  The next day we headed back to Via Filodrammatici, #2.  Catchy street name – notice that drammatici – Word Reference says it means exaggerated, dramatic, theatrical!  Great place for Teatro La Scala.

The 2,800 seat house opened on August 3, 1778 as New Royal-Ducal Theatre alla Scala.  If those walls could only talk…

We wended our way to the iconic structure at lunch time – note it is my birthday we will spend a foolish amount on lunch.  Teatro alla Scala Museum is located on Largo Ghiringhelli, Piazza Scala.  It is essentially the side of the theater.  Piazza Scala also sports for the well heeled music afficionado, Ristornte Teatro Alla Scala Il Marchesino.  The celebrated Italian chef, Gultiero Marchesi creates meals that are delicious and incredible to look at. The two well dressed men sitting next to us ordered something that was actually coated in REAL gold!  I couldn’t believe it when one of them took out his phone and snapped a photo to promptly send out to the world.  We were too busy to tasting and staring, staring and tasting to snap any photos.  Sorry.  Oh, yeah the menu is on iPads!  The head waiter presents each diner with an iPad!  Check out their website – http://www.marchesi.it/it/il-marchesino.html.  Happy birthday to me – of course for what we spent we could have bought one of those tickets for that night’s performance.

Smiling like a well fed and wine paired diva, I strolled to the museum and enjoyed every bloody minute.  From peering into see the grand auditorium, sitting in a box and waving at my fans, to wishing I could just wear the antique costumes for a nanno second, the museum was magical.

Click on the link to see the two minute video of some of the things we saw –


If only I had done my research before we got there!!!!

Tailor-made guided tours are available for tourists looking for a more “behind-the-scenes” experience. That’s me – I want to be in the scene. These tours must be booked in advance. Note that word – ADVANCE.  “Depending on the type of tour, your guide will take you on to the celebrated La Scala stage, into the famous royal box, into gold boxes and into the recently restored auditorium to uncover the hidden gems of La Scala, the prompter’s box, the impressive chandelier, the new fly tower, and other areas of interest.”

ERRRRRR next time!

Let out your inner Diva and check out La Scala’s website – they have virtual tours too.


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