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Renata Scotto

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The Italian opera singer Renata Scotto (born February 24, 1934) is a soprano widely admired for both her musical and dramatic gifts. Since retiring from the stage as a singer in 2002, she has turned to directing opera as well as teaching at her own opera academy in Italy and New York. Her New York Academy is held in the month of June at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains. Ms. Scotto presents a public master class and hosts a final recital of her students. She also attends a benefit to support the academy. In 2006, that benefit will feature tenor Marcello Giordani.

Renata Scotto was born in Savona, Italy. She made her operatic debut in her home town on Christmas Eve of 1952 at the age of 18 in front of a sold-out house as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata. The next day, she made her ‘official’ opera debut at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan as Violetta. Shortly after, she performed in her first Puccini opera, Madama Butterfly, in Savona and was paid twenty-five thousand lire.

In 1953, R. Scotto auditioned at La Scala for the role of Walter in Catalani’s La Wally with Renata Tebaldi and Mario del Monaco. After her audition, one of the judges, the conductor Victor de Sabata, was heard to say, “Forget about the rest.” La Wally opened on December 7, 1953 and Scotto was called back for fifteen curtain calls. Tebaldi and Del Monaco each received seven.

Scotto’s major breakthrough came in 1957: In Edinburgh, La Scala had performed Bellini’s La Sonnambula with Maria Callas as Amina.

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