Other Notable Deaths


April 21, 2007

CARLO MARIA BADINI, 81 Headed La Scala

Carlo Maria Badini, a former superintendent of Milan's La Scala who scandalized opera buffs by introducing commercial activities to save the storied theater from financial difficulties, died in his native Bologna on Thursday, La Scala said in a statement.

The current superintendent, Stephane Lissner, led a minute of silence at the theater before a Thursday evening performance of Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur.

In the statement, La Scala praised Mr. Badini's "human and pragmatic vein" and said it "remembers with affection the man who guided it with honesty and rigor for 13 years."

Born in 1925, Mr. Badini was superintendent at La Scala from 1977 to 1990 after heading the Teatro Comunale in Bologna.

Opera purists were upset when the name of the first commercial sponsor appeared on La Scala's playbills and television cameras entered the 18th-century theater to record productions for broadcast around the world.

But Mr. Badini's managerial approach was credited with ending a long streak of deficits at the financially troubled La Scala, while keeping artistic standards high by working with top directors, including Claudio Abbado and Riccardo Muti.

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