By Truman C. Wang
Saturday, April 9, 2016
On Thursday, April 7, Italy's ANSA news agency reported the liquidation of Fondazione Arena di Verona which runs the popular summer opera festival.
The long-running union mediation in the last few months with the Labor Office in Rome over budgetary consolidation and access to additional arts funding has come to an end yesterday, April 6, with a narrowly-passed workers' referendum -- 132 'ney', 130 'yey' -- to reject cost-cutting measures to reduce debt of €25 million. In retaliation, the Fondazione's board of directors voted unanimously to ask the cultural minister Massimo Bray to shut the organization down. Verona’s mayor Flavio Tosi assures that this year's summer season is not at risk, even though the rejection of the referendum might eventually result in the loss of all worker jobs. If Verona's opera festival is to continue beyond this year, an all-new privatized foundation will need to be set up to run the festival.