© 2024 WXXI Public Broadcasting, 280 State St. Rochester, NY 14614, (585) 325-7500
Celebrating 50 years on FM 91.5
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Every day there are exciting things going on in Rochester's cultural arts community. Classical 91.5 hosts collaborate with and create highlights of various arts organizations, musicians and artists in and around our community.

Remembering legendary soprano Renata Scotto

Legendary Italian soprano Renata Scotto passed away on August 16, 2023 at the age of 89. One of the most beloved sopranos of her generation, Scotto will be remembered as more than a great opera diva. She transformed her operatic roles with her remarkable acting talent, inhabiting each role she performed.

Read the Operawire obituary.

Scotto made her operatic debut in her hometown of Savona, Italy at age 18 in Verdi's La Traviata. But her big break came the following year at La Scala where she sang on opening night of La Wally, an opera in four acts by composer Alfredo Catalani. It is said that Scotto returned to the stage for 15 curtain calls, while the stars Renata Tebaldi and Mario del Monaco only received seven each.

In 1960 Scotto made her American debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in La Bohème, and in 1965 she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Madama Butterfly. In 1977 Scotto made history by performing in Puccini's La Bohème, the Met's first "Live from the Met" telecast. She perfomed at the Met 314 times in 26 different roles through 1987, including telecasts of Manon Lescaut, Luisa Miller, Don Carlo, Il trittico, Francesca da Rimini and Otello.

After retiring from singing, Scotto remained busy in the world of opera, teaching young singers, directing operatic productions, and even designing costumes.

In this video, Beverly Sills introduces Ms. Scotto.

In February 2011, NPR's Tom Huizenga spoke with Renata Scotto just prior to being honored by the Metropolitan Opera Guild in a special "Met Legends" evening celebration. Read the story, listen to the interview and enjoy a selection of Renata Scotto's Opera Picks.