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Thread: Renata Scotto

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    Senior Member LouisMasterMusic's Avatar
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    Default Renata Scotto

    Hi

    I'm interested in rediscovering Renata Scotto. I know she has her flaws and detractors who say that the top notes are sometimes very shrill, but I find her to be quite a convicing actress. I think the only Scotto recording I own is the one she made with Placido Domingo on RCA entitled ''Romantic Opera Duets'', including Massenet, Mascagni, Gounod and Giordano. (I have this as part of ''Placido Domingo: The Album Collection'' box set). I'd appreciate thoughts on this CD and also where I should continue my journey of this soprano's discography, DVD's included. (I know the Luisa Miller from the Metropolitan Opera with Placido Domingo, James Levine conducting, as well as Puccini's Manon Lescaut and Zandonai's Francesca Da Rimini, both from the same opera house. Are any of these good?).

    Any advice and guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    Louis Solomons

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    You might be interested in her biography, "Scotto, More than a Diva".

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    I'm not a particular fan of Scotto, but I don't dislike her. I have a few recordings of hers, mostly where there aren't others available in decent, modern sound.

    I don't know about her filmed performances off hand, but I would recommend her recordings of Adriana Lecouvreur and Andrea Chenier with Domingo. These are good, all round performances of those two operas and would be my top choices for each if live recordings aren't included (Olivero WAS Adriana and I have a soft spot for Corelli's Chenier - there is a live recording with Tebaldi that is a dream).

    I quite like her Tosca (also with Domingo) and some will no doubt recommend her Butterfly (not a role that she does anything for me in).

    My favourite of her recordings is the Nabucco with Muti. She's not the best Abigaille on disc by any means, however she gives it her all and Muti is fantastic in early Verdi.

    N.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    I actually rather like Scotto and have been doing something of a reppraisal, having recently reviewed both the Verdi Arias Album and the Romantic Duets with Domingo for my blog.

    https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2...renata-scotto/

    https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2...o-sings-verdi/

    Other recommendations include the DVD of Otello from the Met, with Vickers in the title role, the Barbirolli Madama Butterfly on EMI (now Warner), Andrea Chenier with Domingo, and Il Tabarro and Suor Angelica on Sony, under Maazel. I also like her contribution to Muti's first recording of the Verdi Requiem, with Baltsa, Luchetti and Nesterenko.

    She started out as a coloratura, but even in her early days, the top notes never sounded particularly easy and later could turn harsh and squally. However the compensations were great; superior musicianship, superb diction and excellent dramatic awareness. She sometimes lacks spontaneity and her performances can occasionally sound studied, but I'd rather too much intelligence than too little.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Jun-26-2019 at 14:18.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member LouisMasterMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    My favourite of her recordings is the Nabucco with Muti. She's not the best Abigaille on disc by any means, however she gives it her all and Muti is fantastic in early Verdi.

    N.
    I only realised just now that I have that recording. Haven’t listened to it for ages! Am watching Nabucco now on Medici.TV in a production from the Arena Di Verona.

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    Senior Member Bellinilover's Avatar
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    It's funny--I must be the only one who's not a big fan of Renata Scotto's acting; I think she overacted. She had a beautiful voice and was great at phrasing; her high register got screechy in the later 1970's (and was always a bit wiry before that, I think).

    The first time I ever heard her was on the RCA recording of OTELLO with Domingo and Milnes.
    Last edited by Bellinilover; Jun-26-2019 at 15:38.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellinilover View Post
    The first time I ever heard her was on the RCA recording of OTELLO with Domingo and Milnes.
    How could I have forgotten that classic!

    N.

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    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    She started out as a coloratura, but even in her early days, the top notes never sounded particularly easy and later could turn harsh and squally.
    If anything, she had shriller and harder top notes earlier in her career than later.

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nina foresti View Post
    You might be interested in her biography, "Scotto, More than a Diva".
    Great book! I read it last year.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    How could I have forgotten that classic!

    N.
    If you thought that was a classic please find the DVD of Otello with Vickers/Scotto. Incredible!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nina foresti View Post
    If you thought that was a classic please find the DVD of Otello with Vickers/Scotto. Incredible!!
    I have that version, but haven't watched it. My favourite Otello is probably Martinelli, followed by Vickers and then Domingo (preferably live with Kleiber).

    I'm far more interested in the tenor and baritone in this opera than the soprano, hence favourites are Martinelli with Tibbett, Vickers with Gobbi and Domingo with Milnes. My favourite Desdemonas are Studer and De los Angeles.

    The Vickers/Scotto has MacNeil as Iago which doesn't entice me, however I know it is meant to be a legendary performance so I will give it a go!

    N.

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    Senior Member Open Book's Avatar
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    I haven't seen Scotto on DVD, but her acting from a vocal standpoint is excellent in the Verdi "Rigoletto" under Gavazzeni, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, with Kraus and Bastianini. She is slightly out of breath in "Veglia O Donna", but I have not heard a more moving version. Her voice and characterization are perfect for the role. The whole cast is great. This recording is essential in my opinion.
    "No one chooses the tuba" - Alexander von Puttkamer

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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    a light soprano trying to be spinto, but when she actually stuck to her native rep, she was decent. she had NO place singing roles like Abigaille, Lady Macbeth and Norma, but in more lyric rep and even some higher coloratura roles like Gilda, the voice sounded much more pleasant and the trouble high notes she reported in most of her rep didn't seem to be there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    I actually rather like Scotto and have been doing something of a reppraisal, having recently reviewed both the Verdi Arias Album and the Romantic Duets with Domingo for my blog.

    https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2...renata-scotto/

    https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2...o-sings-verdi/

    Other recommendations include the DVD of Otello from the Met, with Vickers in the title role, the Barbirolli Madama Butterfly on EMI (now Warner), Andrea Chenier with Domingo, and Il Tabarro and Suor Angelica on Sony, under Maazel. I also like her contribution to Muti's first recording of the Verdi Requiem, with Baltsa, Luchetti and Nesterenko.

    She started out as a coloratura, but even in her early days, the top notes never sounded particularly easy and later could turn harsh and squally. However the compensations were great; superior musicianship, superb diction and excellent dramatic awareness. She sometimes lacks spontaneity and her performances can occasionally sound studied, but I'd rather too much intelligence than too little.
    Actually she started out as a mezzo but soon discovered through a voice teacher that she had a soprano sound and went with it.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nina foresti View Post
    Actually she started out as a mezzo but soon discovered through a voice teacher that she had a soprano sound and went with it.
    I hadn't heard that, but her first operatic performance was in her home town of Savona in 1952 at the age of 18, when she sang Violetta. Her "official" debut followed the next day at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan, when she also sang Violetta. Butterfly followed soon after. She must have decided she was a soprano when she was quite young.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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