MILAN (AP) — The famed La Scala opera house is beginning its 2012-13 season honoring the dual bicentennials of its own Giuseppe Verdi and German icon Richard Wagner, starting with the Teutonic classic "Lohengrin."

Daniel Barenboim, La Scala's music director and a Wagner aficionado, conducts the gala season opener, one of the premier events on the European cultural calendar. German bass Rene Pape appears as King Heinrich and tenor Jonas Kaufmann as Lohengrin. German soprano Anja Harteros sings the part of Elsa and Evelyn Herlitzius is Ortrud.

A preview performance for younger opera-goers Tuesday was strongly applauded. German director Claus Guth's nontraditional staging sets the tale in the Victorian era.

The opener will be broadcast live in 600 cinemas around the world, as well as on Italian state television and radio.