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La Scala Milan: 15 facts about the great opera house
Conditions in La Scala auditorium could be frustrating for the serious opera-lover in the audience as author Mary Shelley discovered in September 1840. 'La Scala serves,' she observed, 'not only as the universal drawing-room for all the society of Milan, but every sort of trading transaction, from horse-dealing to stock-jobbing, is carried on in the pit; so that brief and far between are the snatches of melody one can catch.'