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Tuesday, May 18, 1999 Published at 23:05 GMT 00:05 UK

World: Europe

Rome's Opera House in trouble

The mayor of Rome has threatened to cancel the entire summer season at the capital's Opera House after a strike forced the management to cancel the opening night of Verdi's Aida -- one of the operatic highlights of the year.

The mayor, Francesco Rutelli, said the strike was irresponsible.

He said unless all the scheduled performances of Aida went ahead, he would cancel the season and would consider closing down the theatre for good.

The BBC correspondent says the theatre --- which has always operated a a huge loss, despite heavy national and local subsidies -- has been plagued for years by union trouble.

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