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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 April, 2005, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
Maestro Muti quits La Scala post
Riccardo Muti
Conductor Riccardo Muti is a powerful figure in the music world
Riccardo Muti, renowned musical director of Milan's La Scala, has resigned citing "hostility" from fellow members of staff at the opera house.

The Italian maestro, who has held the post since 1986, said his resignation was "an obligatory choice".

The resignation comes after more than 700 orchestra members and staff demanded Mr Muti step down last month.

The conflict, over the sacking of a senior La Scala official, prompted a slew of cancelled performances.

Concern among staff was prompted by the dismissal in February of Carlo Fontana - who had headed the theatre since 1990. The theatre board cited "differences" with Mr Muti.

Riccardo Muti
The theatrical show of hostility from people I have worked with for nearly 20 years has made it utterly impossible to continue our relationship
Riccardo Muti

Mr Fontana was succeeded by Mauro Meli, whose resignation staff also called for, following a vote of no-confidence on 16 March.

Of the opera house's 800 staff, only two members of staff supported Mr Muti.

Mr Muti is hailed as one of the world's great conductors, but has been criticised for his autocratic style and holding back on innovation.

"Despite the great esteem the board of directors has for me, the theatrical show of hostility from people I have worked with for nearly 20 years has made it utterly impossible to continue our relationship, which has to be based on harmony and trust," he said in a statement on Saturday.

"Making music together is not just a team effort. It requires us to respect each other, to share our passion and to understand each other - feelings I thought underpinned these 20 years of work at La Scala," Mr Muti added.

There was no immediate word on who would replace Mr Muti.

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17 Jul 04 |  Entertainment
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02 Jan 03 |  Europe


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