Opera director calls Riccardo Chailly an ‘a**hole’ backstage (and it was recorded)

9 December 2015, 15:28 | Updated: 9 December 2015, 16:21

chaily la scala backstage swearing

A performance of La Scala’s production of Verdi’s ‘Joan of Arc’ ended in a one-sided slanging match when the director became angry with conductor Riccardo Chailly.

Conductor Riccardo Chailly was the subject of a shouted tirade from opera director Moshe Leiser.

Leiser, who is directing the current run of the opera with his creative partner Patrice Caurier, was recorded berating the conductor backstage after a performance.

During the recording, which has been published by La Repubblica, it’s possible to hear Moshe begin complimenting Chailly, saying: “I’m here, congratulations maestro, really congratulations.”

There is a pause, after which Leiser then shouts “A**hole!” He then follows it up by muttering “Stronzo di merda”, which translates roughly into English as ‘piece of s**t’.

Listen to the whole recording here

It’s unclear what may have caused the outburst, but according to La Repubblica’s unnamed sources there have been creative tensions between Chailly and the opera’s directors.

La Scala’s Paolo Besana told The Guardian: “It happens a lot of times that conductors and directors have different points of view and this time unfortunately there was a microphone.”