It is a tradition that the venerable La Scala opera house in Milan launches its new season on 7 December, St Ambrose's Day, the feast of Milan's patron saint.
One of the world's most famous opera houses, La Scala was inaugurated on 3 August 1778. The lavishly decorated theatre was the pre-eminent meeting place for Milan's wealthiest residents. It was renovated in 1907, and again from 2002 to 2004, when the sound quality was considerably enhanced.
The opening night features a performance of La Traviata.