“I’m from Milan. My father worked there, I’ve absorbed opera there since my earliest childhood [...] Our family lives here. I could not help it,” confessed Riccardo Chailly in conversation with Manuel Brug, after he had decided to take over as musical director of La Scala in January, 2015. Nevertheless, he also held leading positions in concert orchestras, such as today’s DSO in Berlin (1982-1989), the Concertgebouw Orkest Amsterdam (1988-2004) and the Leipzig Gewandhaus (2005-2016). With all three orchestras, a (late) romantic repertoire – Schumann, Brahms, Mahler, Strauss, Zemlinsky – played an important role; the differentiated but spirited interpretation of this music was soon the Italian conductor’s speciality. Chailly combines both Italian passion and German Romantic fascination at his first guest performance at the Musikfest as the director of the Scala. The overture of the Sicilian Vespers and the imaginary scenic precision of orchestral accompaniment pieces, namely, the Stabat Mater and Te Deum, present Giuseppe Verdi, an elective citizen of Milan, in a range of styles that extends far beyond his operas.