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La Scala's new manager wants an Italian music director

Director of Zurich Opera House Alexander Pereira poses in the foyer of the opera house in Zurich May 20, 2009. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Director of Zurich Opera House Alexander Pereira poses in the foyer of the opera house in Zurich May 20, 2009. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

VIENNA (Reuters) - Alexander Pereira, the next manager of Italian opera house La Scala, would like to have an Italian music director, ideally Riccardo Muti or Claudio Abbado, he told an Austrian newspaper.

Pereira, an Austrian who is now artistic director of the Salzburg Festival, will take over at the helm of Italy's best-known opera theatre in 2015, replacing current general manager Stephan Lissner, who is moving to Paris.

"If there is a non-Italian manager, there should be an Italian music director," Pereira told Kurier in an interview published on Thursday.

"I would be insanely happy if it worked out that Riccardo Muti would conduct at La Scala again. Or Claudio Abbado."

Daniel Barenboim is La Scala's current music director.

Pereira has ruffled feathers in Austria by accepting the La Scala post, which will start before his Salzburg contract ends in autumn 2016.

He had already threatened to walk out on Salzburg in a row with the city's mayor about the festival's budget.

Pereira told Kurier he would have no problem fulfilling both roles, as the 2015 Salzburg Festival was already 85-90 percent planned, and the 2016 festival up to 70 percent ready.

"I have given my word to the Salzburgers that I will be responsible for everything until the end," he said.

($1 = 0.7642 euros)

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan, editing by Paul Casciato)

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