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Originally published Monday, March 2, 2009 at 7:25 AM

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Florence festival cancels 2 operas

An Italian music organization says it is canceling performances of Giuseppe Verdi's "Macbeth" and Benjamin Britten's "Billy Budd" due to cuts in government funding.

ROME —

An Italian music organization says it is canceling performances of Giuseppe Verdi's "Macbeth" and Benjamin Britten's "Billy Budd" due to cuts in government funding.

The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino said Monday that "Macbeth" had been scheduled to open on June 4 and "Billy Budd" on June 23 as part of its festival in Florence.

Last week, the theater said unspecified cuts would have to be made in its spring and summer opera offerings because of the inadequate funding.

On Monday, it said the festival would open on time with Richard Wagner's "Goetterdaemmerung," and that the rest of the season's program will be announced later.

The festival is a European tradition showcasing leading performers in major operas. This year, it runs from April 29 to July 2.

(This version CORRECTS spelling of Wagner opera title.)

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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