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Renata Scotto (b1934)

Having begun vocal training when she was fourteen years old, Scotto moved to Milan when she was sixteen to continue her studies there. She made her operatic stage debut when only eighteen, singing Violetta / La traviata at Savona on Christmas Eve 1952 and the following day repeating the same role at the Teatro Nuovo, Milan.

During 1953 Scotto auditioned for the part of Walter / La Wally at La Scala, Milan; the comment of one of the auditioners, Victor De Sabata, was prophetic: ‘Forget the rest.’ She sang this role at La Scala alongside Renata Tebaldi and Mario del Monaco at the end of 1953 and was extremely well received by the Milanese audience. A few years later however she experienced a vocal crisis, in which she lost much of her upper range; advised by the tenor Alfredo Kraus, Scotto studied with his teacher Mercedes Llopart and re-emerged with a strong technique. She sang Micaëla / Carmen at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice in 1956 and in 1957 took part in a season of Italian opera at the Stoll Theatre, London in which she sang Mimì / La Bohème, Adina / L’elisir d’amore, Donna Elvira / Don Giovanni and Violetta. In the same year year she substituted for Maria Callas, whom she greatly admired, as Amina / La sonnambula at the Edinburgh Festival after an extra performance had been scheduled, and was projected into international stardom.




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