Streisand drops Rome show

LOS ANGELES Sat May 26, 2007 3:17am BST

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Barbra Streisand has cancelled a Rome concert that would have launched her European tour, but organisers said on Friday it had nothing to do with an outcry from Italian consumer groups about ticket prices.

A spokeswoman for concert promoter CPI said Streisand's planned appearance at Rome's Flaminio Stadium was scrapped due to production difficulties that will prevent the tour from opening in the Italian capital as scheduled on June 15.

She said a revised itinerary would be firmed up in the next few days, with new dates added, but Streisand is expected to perform as previously scheduled on June 21 in Vienna, which originally was listed as her second stop.

The 65-year-old superstar, whose hits include "People" and "The Way We Were," will be accompanied by a 58-piece orchestra on her first European tour outside Britain, with other dates to include Paris, Dublin and London.

Earlier this month, two consumer activist groups in Italy complained that tour promoters were charging exorbitant prices for tickets to the Rome show. They urged Rome's city government and Italy's Olympic Committee to deny permission for the singer to use the stadium.

They said prices ranging from 150 euros (101 pounds) to 900 euros (610 pounds) were "absurd and shameful." By comparison, the best seats at Milan's La Scala opera house run about 200 euros (135 pounds).

Asked whether the protest over tickets was a factor in the decision by tour promoters to drop Rome from Streisand's itinerary, the spokeswoman said, "Absolutely not."

Streisand grossed $92.5 million from a 20-date North American tour that opened last October, her first live performances in six years.

Her 2006 outing was only the second national tour by Streisand in the four decades since she became the toast of Broadway, launched a Grammy-winning recording career and won her first Oscar in the 1968 musical "Funny Girl."

Reuters/Nielsen

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