Opera cancels 'War and Peace' due to cost

Sunday, August 25, 2002

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Opera has canceled a $3 million production of "War and Peace" because of cost overruns and the refusal of billionaire Alberto Vilar to cover the additional expenditures.

Vilar, who had pledged $1 million for the production of Sergei Prokofiev's opera, declined requests to cover an additional $600,000 and would not move up the date to hand over his pledge.

The Los Angeles Opera, whose artistic director is the tenor Placido Domingo, needed the additional money because of the cost of adapting the mammoth production to the stage of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

"I have already spent a lot of money on this opera, and then all of a sudden, I heard about this two weeks ago -- they needed all this money up front," Vilar told the Los Angeles Times.

The production, which was to open in Los Angeles on Oct. 23, features the Kirov Opera and has had successful runs in London and at New York's Metropolitan Opera. It will be replaced by another Kirov production, Dmitri Shostakovich's "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk."

Vilar told the Times he agreed to pay half of the $1 million on the opening date and the rest in October 2003.

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