The orchestra atMilan’s 18th-century Teatro alla Scala struck upon December 7 for the opening night of its new opera season. The inaugural performance was of Lohengrin, Wagner’s Swan Knight romance, and in celebration a limited-edition Gran Cuvée – wrapped in a spiral of staves from a copy of the composer’s original score – has been chosen to toast the 2013 calendar. Franciacorta Bellavista Vittorio Moretti 2004 is made in the same way as champagne, with hints of citrus hidden amid its sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend. Only 50 bottles are available in the UK.
The 2013 season also commemorates the bicentenary of both Wagner and Verdi’s births: the next 12 months at La Scala will see a specially selected bill of Verdi’s operas, including Falstaff and Macbeth, while performances of Aida will provide its final crescendo next November.
The future seems bright for subsequent programmes, too, as a proportion of sales (yet to be decided) from the Italian reserve will help to support young artists at the Accademia della Scala. What a plentiful score of reasons to make a jubilant toast.