While visiting Milan for the 2015 Food Expo, we wanted to get a taste of the local culture scene and where better to do that than the 18th century world famous opera-house La Scala. Being the last minute tourists that we are we have not booked a ticket in advance, and just went in the ticket office and asked what’s available for that night. Unsurprising, but almost everything was prebooked months in advance with only the most expensive tickets available. As I was about to give it all up, the guy said – but you can line up for the last minute tickets at 5pm. I have no idea why they have this strange system, perhaps to make opera more available to the masses, but you spend a good hour or two lining up to get those ultra-cheap tickets. It’s a frustrating and funny experience, and you’ll need a lot of patience, but at the end there’s no denying that it’s well worth it – La Scala is gorgeous and the Elixir of Love Opera we watched was – to my amateur taste – superb. They have English subs written down in the booths so you can keep track of things, although I probably wouldn’t be able to follow have I not read the outline in Wikipedia in advance. Since it’s a very old theater many of the seats do not have a direct view of the stage and t he seats we got were, well, bad, but my parents upgraded themselves to front row seats from a couple who left mid-way, and I was alright with finding better a better position and just standing. This comedy opera Elixir of Love was brilliant with a rather masterful understanding of the human psyche.
Want to see it in moving video? Here:
If you’re rich, book in advance. If you’re lazy and/or poor and don’t mind lining up for cheap tickets for an hour or two – it’s well worth the experience. An Italian opera, in Italy, Milan, in La Scala, these are the kind of events you tend to remember.