The opening of the Opera season at the Scala in Milan was celebrated with a gala dinner. The menu dedicated to Verdi and Don Carlo, by a well-known Italian chef Enrico Bertolini. The most important social event in Milan's Culture calendar combining opera, art, entertainment and gastronomy. New York has the MET Gala, Milan tries it with the opening night of the 2023/2024 season of the Teatro alla Scala, at which VIPs from the entertainment, culture and politics world meet. Thursday last week. the day dedicated to Sant'Ambrogio, the first performance was held at the Scala kicking off the new Opera season, with Don Carlo. Unfortunately, President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni could not attend. After the performance, the gala dinner was hosted in the historic Milanese Club of the Società del Giardini. The menu created by Chef Enrico Bartolini, together with Davide Boglioli, Executive Chef of the Mudec restaurant in Milan.
Conceived and created as a performance within a performance, from the dishes to the settings, the premiere dinner always has a connection with the artist on stage, in this case Giuseppe Verdi. “In these 12 years of activity we have always created a common thread between the chosen opera and the Dopo Scala gala, for us the table becomes a stage on which to stage every detail, from the menu to the tailor-made set-up just like stage furnishings ” explained Salvatore Quartulli.
The menu of the dinner at La Scala in honor of Giuseppe Verdi had several courses, designed to establish a common thread with Verdi's lands, but also with Spain in the mid-sixteenth century. To start with an Appetizer with Parmesan, pepper and chicory, Emilian panada and truffle, finally rosemary focaccia with San Secondo shoulder ham from Parma. The first course was a risotto, with porcini mushrooms, anise and black cherries. Following the first course, the second course, was Guinea fowl, mustard and turnip greens, in homage to the tastes of Verdi, who did love white meat. To conclude the dinner a dessert dedicated to Don Carlo, with apples, spices and buckwheat. And as per the tradition, while the gala dinner is being staged, the banquet is also being set up for the service professionals who made the staging of the Opera possible. It's called "The Workers' Dinner" and it's a buffet for 500 people cooked by the Executive Chef of Caffè Scala Palmer Bischetti and his team, set up in record time. What a fabulous tradition!
Singer Patti Smith and Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar joined an audience of mostly Italian glitteratti that showered the 4-hour production with 13 minutes of applause along with roses and carnations. La Scala premiere veterans Russian soprano Anna Netrebko as Elisabeth of Valois and Italian baritone Luca Salsi got the loudest reception. The start of the 2023-24 season highlighted the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO’s decision to include Italian lyric opera on its list of intangible cultural treasures. The agency on Wednesday recognized the global importance of the 400-year-old art form that combines music, costume and stage direction.