Applause and boos at Italy's La Scala gala opening
La Scala's performance of Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlos drew applause but also some booing on the opening night of the opera house's new season, the highlight of the city's social and musical calendar.
The audience threw flowers on stage as the cast took a bow, some even cheered to bravos and US tenor Stuart Neill, who stepped in after a late change on Saturday, received loud cheers for his portrayal of Don Carlos.
But whistling and boos were in store for some of the performers, the conductor and director during a seven-minute applause - much shorter than at previous openings.
Artistic director Stephane Lissner said the booing, which began in the second act, was due to the change in tenors.
La Scala on Saturday announced Mr Neill would replace Giuseppe Filianoti as Don Carlos. It gave no reason but Mr Filianoti said in a newspaper interview on Sunday he thought it was due to an error he made in a pre-season performance to a younger audience.
The night in the historic heart of Italy's fashion and financial capital otherwise went smoothly, after having been at risk of cancellation because of strikes and protests.
The 18th century opera house reached a deal on Monday to end a work contract dispute with a performers' union that forced La Scala to cancel several performances of The Merry Widow last month and had threatened Sunday's performance.
Based on Friedrich Schiller's play, Don Carlos is Verdi's 1867 opera about a tortured love affair in the 16th century Spanish royal family. Performed in Italian, it lasted more than four hours.
With tickets costing up to €2,000, the event is seen as the exclusive preserve of the rich and powerful.