Renata Scotto

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Scotto, Renata

Scotto, Renata, famous Italian soprano; b. Savona, Feb. 24, 1933. She commenced music study in Savona at age 14, and when she was 16, she went to Milan for vocal training with Emilio Ghirardini, then with Mer-lini, and finally with Mercedes Llopart. She made her debut as Violetta in Savona in 1952. After winning a national vocal competition in 1953, she made her formal debut as Violetta at Milan’s Teatro Nuovo; then joined Milan’s La Scala, where she sang secondary roles until being called upon to replace Maria Callas as Amina during the company’s visit to the Edinburgh Festival in 1957. She made her U.S. debut at the Chicago Lyric Opera on Nov. 2, 1960, as Mimi, a role she also chose for her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. on Oct. 13, 1965. She scored a brilliant success with her portrayal of Mimi in the Metropolitan Opera production of La Bohème in the “Live from Lincoln Center” telecast on PBS (March 15, 1977), and continued to make appearances there until her final engagement as Cio-Cio-San in 1987. She also toured widely as a recitalist. In later years, she was active as an opera director. In 1995 she sang the Marshallin at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. in Charleston, S.C. In 1999 she portrayed Madame Flora in La Voix Humaine and Menotti’s Medium in a double bill staging in Turin. Among her other fine roles were Lucia, Gilda, Elena in I Vespri Siciliani, Norma, Manon Lescaut, and Luisa Miller. She publ. the book Scotto: More than a Diva (with O. Riva; N.Y., 1984).

Bibliography

B. Tosi, R. S.: Voce di due mondi (Venice, 1990).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Scotto, Renata (b Savona, 1933). It. soprano. Opera début Savona 1952 (Violetta in La traviata). Member of La Scala co. from 1954; Débuts: London (Stoll) 1957; Edinburgh Fest., 1957 (replaced Callas as Amina in La Sonnambula at very short notice); Amer. (Chicago) 1960; CG 1962; NY Met 1965. Specially successful in Puccini and Verdi. Last sang at NY Met 1987 (as Butterfly), having directed Madama Butterfly there in 1986. Autobiography More Than a Diva (NY 1984).