'Romeo & Juliet' Canceled Due To Strike at La Scala

By O'Jay Burgess on Dec 20, 2012 03:13 PM EST

Los Angeles Opera's James Colon was set to perform at Italy's La Scala but a strike saw the show cancelled on Wednesday, The Los Angeles Times reported.

A notice on the website for Teatro alla Scala read that the performance was called off due to the strike organized by unions representing the chorus.

The protest started with the dancers who didn't want to perform on a raked stage because the surface caused physical pain. Raked stages, which are angled up and away from the audience, are sometimes used in theater and operatic productions for dramatic effect or to allow performers at the back of the stage to be better seen by the audience.

According to The Times, the dancers threatened to protest, but it remains unclear from published reports if they have walked out of the production.

Further problems surfaced, The Guardian reports that some of the choristers were upset at having to appear on stage in costume and having to move in time with the music. The news outlet also reports that the choristers demanded bonuses but management refused the requests.

The Times said it's unclear that whether or not "Romeo and Juliet" will begin performances. The show has been scheduled to run to Jan. 8.

The new production of Berlioz's piece features choreography by Sasha Waltz and is a co-production between La ScalaDeutsche Oper Berlin and Opéra National de Paris.

James Colon will return to the LA Opera come March to conduct Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman."

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