The country's most famous opera house, La Scala in Milan, will begin offering the cut-price tickets to 18 to 25 year olds from next year, Minister of Culture Alberto Bonisoli announced on Tuesday.
Another 13 opera foundations, which represent theatres in Rome, Venice, Naples, Verona and other cities across the country, have agreed to follow suit, he said.
“It's an initiative to bring culture as close as possible to new generations who may be sceptical of it or think it outdated,” Bonisoli said.
“But it's also a gesture to an age group in difficulty, often out of work. Culture doesn't fix problems, but it can help.”
At La Scala, the €2 tickets will be available for 22 performances out of the 2018/19 season, including 15 operas and seven ballets. One hundred tickets will be on sale per performance.
Typically tickets for one of La Scala's operas start at around €30 for a seat in the nosebleed section, climbing to nearly €300 for a place in the stalls. The opera house already offers discounts for under-19s, over-65s and students, as well as reducing the cost of its annual pass for under-30s and making certain performances half-price for all.
Bonisoli, who took over as Italy's culture minister in June, has come in for criticism after he announced plans to scrap free entry to state museums on the first Sunday of the month after saying that the scheme risked creating huge queues and “undervaluing our sites”.
Speaking on Tuesday, he said that museums would continue to open for free on first Sundays between October and March, as well as another eight days per year that each site can choose.
There are also plans to offer free entry at national museums across Italy for an entire week every year, he said, starting in March 2019.
Photo: Marcello Orselli