Created: Sat, 07 Dec 2013 11:16:08 EST
Updated: Sat, 07 Dec 2013 11:16:08 EST
MILAN (AP) — Milan opera house La Scala is concluding its bicentennial celebrations of Giuseppe Verdi's birth with Daniele Gatti conducting "La Traviata" at the gala season opener.
The 52-year-old Gatti, who was born in Milan, recently told an audience of opera enthusiasts before the season opener Saturday that he hopes if he meets Verdi one day in the afterlife "Verdi would take me aside and say, 'Bravo, you got it.'"
Though "La Traviata" is Verdi's most popular opera, it hasn't been performed at La Scala, which was Verdi's musical home for many years, in a dozen years.
"La Traviata" has endured as the most popular opera worldwide with 553 performance runs over the last five seasons, according to the Operabase online database of opera performances.