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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 October 2005, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
La Scala dancers to go on strike
La Scala in Milan. Photo copyright Marco Brescia/Teatro alla Scala
The world famous Italian opera house was first opened in 1778
Dancers at the world famous La Scala opera house in Milan are going on strike to protest at the size of their dressing rooms.

The Italian opera house underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in recent years, reopening last December.

But the dancers say their dressing rooms are too small and they are being squeezed out in order to make more room for the orchestra.

The industrial action is expected to stop 10 performances.

The extensive renovation work - which took three years to complete and cost an estimated 42m - was done to improve the theatre's acoustics and ability to stage productions.

The stage was entirely reconstructed, making it possible, in theory, to stage three different operas on the same day.


The dancers' strike follows a stormy period earlier this year at the famous opera house, which first opened in 1778.

In April, renowned musical director Ricardo Muti resigned citing "hostility" from fellow members of staff at the opera house.

The resignation came after more than 700 orchestra members and staff demanded that he step down.

However, the appointment of new director Stephane Lissner in May was welcomed by both employees and the musical establishment.

The 2005/2006 season will open on 7 December with Idomeneo, a 1781 opera by Mozart.

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