ROME - It was not from delicacy, amid the outbreak this week of coronavirus in northern Italy, that Milan’s iconic opera house La Scala canceled a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata. Despite the fact that the opera concludes on the tragic death of the heroine, who succumbs to tuberculosis, the performance was due to go ahead anyway until the regional government announced the cancellation.
La Scala was another cultural casualty of a contagion that has shaken two of Italy’s wealthiest and most productive regions, Lombardy and Veneto, and is roiling indirectly other parts of the country, too. Milan, Italy’s commercial capital, has seen its annual fashion show postponed as well as the disruption of other high-profile trade shows and events. The annual Venice Carnival was cut short and several top league football matches have been postponed.
In a bid to tame the novel virus, the government moved quickly to lock down nearly a dozen towns. But many Italians fear the move will not stop the virus.
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