Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Former Rome opera chief sentenced to jail over workplace death

Carlo Fuortes set to appeal sentence.

A court in Rome on Wednesday sentenced the former superintendent of Rome's opera house, Carlo Fuortes, to 16 months in jail over the accidental death of a cleaner in 2017.

Oberdan Varani, 50, fell off a ladder while working in the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma on 31 July 2017, suffering serious head injuries. He died in hospital after nine days in a coma.

The court ordered Fuortes to pay €220,000 to the victim's family, Corriere della Sera newspaper reports, and also sentenced the owner of the company that employed Varani to 16 months in prison. 

Luca Montanari, the lawyer representing Varani, said the family of the deceased was satisfied with the ruling and claimed that the opera house had been in violation of safety standards at the time of the accident.

Fuortes' lawyer Alessandro Gamberini pledged to appeal the "disconcerting" sentence, arguing that the reason behind Varani's death was not related to safety in the workplace but was instead linked to the deceased man's blood alcohol level.

Fuortes, 64, is an experienced manager who is credited with reviving the fortunes of Rome's opera house during his time at the helm there from 2013 to 2021.

He later served as head of the Italian state broadcaster RAI before taking up a new appointment in recent days as superintendent of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

Photo La Repubblica

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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
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