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La Scala struck falling bridge from 'Attila' after Genoa

Opera singers Ildar Abdrazakov, left, Saioa Hernandez, center, and George Petean pose for photographers prior to the start of the press conference to present 2018/2019 season, at the Milan La Scala opera house, Italy, on Nov. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

MILAN (AP) -- Director Davide Livermore had envisioned a falling bridge to emphasize a dramatic encounter in Verdi's "Attila," which opens La Scala's season next week with a new production.

But the director said Friday that he changed the staging immediately after the Aug. 14 collapse of a highway bridge in Genoa that killed 43 people.

Livermore said "unfortunately, reality overcame what would have been our interpretation of the concept of shambles," dramatizing the meeting of Attila the invader with Roman general Ezio.

Livermore said retaining the bridge collapse in the production would have been "useless and painful" and would have diverted attention from the Dec. 7 gala opening.

Riccardo Chailly conducts his fifth season-opener with Attila, part of a trilogy dedicated to Verdi's early works.

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