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Maria Di Freda

© Fotografia di Graziella Vigo

General Manager of Teatro alla Scala

In April 1973, at a very young age, she started her collaboration with Teatro alla Scala, under the Superintendence of Paolo Grassi.

After a career that developed with increasing responsibilities in the area of Information Systems of Teatro alla Scala, in 1991 she was appointed Director of Personnel and Organization by the Board of Directors.

In 1994 she was also designated, as an additional appointment, Assistant of CEO. In this role, she was closely involved both in the phase of examination and study of the new institutional model of Teatro alla Scala, and in the following process of transformation from a public corporation into a foundation of private law, formally occurred on 16th November 1997, following the issue of the delegated Law (Law No. 549/1995) and the subsequent implementing decree, establishing the Lyrical-Symphonic Foundations (Legislative Decree No. 367/1996).

During those same years, she participated in the institutional forums with the Municipality of Milan in the realization of the project of restoration and renovation of the historical building of Teatro alla Scala, of construction of the new Teatro degli Arcimboldi (temporary location of La Scala during the reconstruction period) and the new Theatre Workshops in the former Ansaldo industrial area.

Since July 1996 she has been the representative of Teatro alla Scala for the Regional Council regarding the Issues of Music.

In October 1998, the Board of Directors defined the new organizational model of the Foundation. In this context, she was appointed Director of Institutional Relations.

From 2000 to 2002, it has been again attributed to her, interim, the role of Director of Personnel and Organisation and the responsibility for the coordination of operations for the transfer of Teatro alla Scala to Teatro degli Arcimboldi, which was inaugurated on 19th January 2002.

In 2003, she was appointed responsible for coordinating all the Theatre Departments for every activity related to the return to the original, historical building of Teatro alla Scala; she was also managing the relationships of Teatro alla Scala with the Direction for Restoration and Renovation Works and the Municipality of Milan. The Theatre, in accordance with the planned timetable, was inaugurated on 7th December 2004.

From the early nineties she has been responsible for the tours of Teatro alla Scala. Since then, 68 projects have been carried abroad in 28 countries (Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Japan, Greece, Israel, England, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Oman, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA) for 310 performances (67 operas, 202 ballets and 41 concerts). The activity in Italy has been also considerable, with 77 projects for 229 performances.

On 18th February 2008 she was appointed General Manager of Teatro alla Scala.

On 18th June 2010, on the occasion of the 22nd edition of the prestigious “Premio Marisa Bellisario”, with the title Women engine for development, she was awarded with the “Mela d’Oro”, special prize for culture.

On 16th June 2013 she received the “Milano Produttiva” Award, traditionally assigned by the Milan Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture to the enterprises and the people, who have distinguished themselves in their professional history for “the strong and significant contribution to growth and to local and national economic development”.