Renata Scotto is considered one of the most important sopranos and has achieved world fame. Now fans are mourning the Italian opera singer. She died on Wednesday night at the age of 89, according to a statement from the city of Savona.
Scotto was born in the Ligurian town in 1934. “A unique singer, great musician and artist and a great woman has died,” wrote Savona’s Mayor Marco Russo on Facebook.
Renata Scotto started her career at the age of 17. In 1952 she made her debut at the Chiabrera Theater in Savona and a little later at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan. Within a few years she became a star at the Milan Scala and has since performed at all the major opera houses in the world. Scotto was known for mastering an unusually wide repertoire, particularly in Italian and French operas, which included the works of 18 composers.
Her long career has taken the soprano to the most important theaters in the world. As an actress, Scotto also tried her hand at dramatic roles with great success. She also worked as an opera director. Her first directorial work was “Madame Butterfly” at the New York Metropolitan Opera, which was later performed in the Arena of Verona and in Genoa, among others.
Throughout her life, Scotto was compared to opera legend Maria Callas. After Callas’ death, Scotto was dubbed by some as the “only prima donna alive.” The newspaper “La Stampa” called her “one of the most important voices in Italy”. “We will miss her in everything. Savona will always be grateful to her,” said Russo.
Renata Scotto: A career full of curiosity and artistic understanding
She became famous as a stand-in for Maria Callas. Renata Scotto was just 23 years old then. She convinced – and started a career that would last almost 50 years. On Wednesday night, the Italian soprano died at the age of 89 in her birthplace of Savona. The mayor of Savona, Marco Russo, announced this today via social media.
Renata Scotto always put herself uncompromisingly at the service of musical theatre. She gave each of her roles the unconditional will to express herself of the great singer-actress. It was almost a twist of fate that her career began in 1957 by filling in for Maria Callas at the Edinburgh Festival. Since then, the then 23-year-old Italian has been considered by many to be “the other Callas”.
As the successor to “Assoluta”, Scotto also recommended herself through her repertoire: she sang the romantic bel canto roles, excelled with Verdi and surpassed herself as a diva of verismo. Her agile soprano had luminosity, but also a slightly metallic intonation and a certain sharpness in the high notes. How Renata Scotto turned this voice into an instrument of colorful, psychologically refined and oppressively intense expression lay the secret of her decades of success.
“It was love at first sight between Miss Scotto and the New York audience”” – raved the press in 1965, after her debut as Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera. It was mutual, as Renata Scotto – previously celebrated prima donna in London and Milan – settled in New York with her family. At the “Met” she became the darling of the audience and could be seen in 26 roles for two decades – as Desdemona, Lady Macbeth, Vitellia, Manon Lescaut and Francesca da Rimini – or in all three soprano parts of Puccini’s “Trittico”.
In the autumn of her singing life, she still dared to take on unexpected roles such as Strauss’ Marschallin, Wagner’s Kundry or Poulenc’s monodrama “La voix humaine”. In 2002, Renata Scotto left the stage after a career of almost 50 years – a legendary career full of curiosity and artistic understanding, passion and a willingness to take risks. “More than a diva” is the title of her autobiography, which expresses her artistic credo: bel canto does not lie in the flawlessness of the voice, but in the message of the singing!