Agence France-Presse

LONDON, July 7 (AFP) ó An unprecedented open-air production of Puccini's La BohËme by the English National Opera (ENO) in London's celebrated Trafalgar Square was cancelled Wednesday as stormy weather battered the British capital.
Earlier workers laid nearly 4,000 square meters (43,000 square feet) of artificial turf to prepare for the free performance, which was due to start at 7:30 pm (1830 GMT) before 6,500 opera lovers.
But, as the heavy winds and driving rain worsened during the afternoon an ENO spokesman was forced to announce that the show would not be going ahead.
"Unfortunately La BohËme has been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions," he said. "It is a real shame. We made every effort to prepare for disruptions but the weather was beyond our immediate control."
Trafalgar Square, dominated by a column honouring British naval hero Sir Horatio Nelson, underwent a major facelift last year to turn it into a vast piazza to rival other great civic squares in Europe.
The ENO has meanwhile been striving to introduce opera to a new generation of music lovers, performing Act III of Wagner's The Valkyrie at the Glastonbury rock festival in the west of England last month.

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