A recital of bel canto singer Renata Scotto at the height of her powers. Born in 1934 in the north of Italy, twelve year old Renata decided she wanted to be an opera singer after her first experience seeing one. In 1953 she was already cast for a role at the Scala in Milan, and it was a huge success. Her major breakthrough came when she had to stand in for Maria Callas at the Edinburgh Festival four years later.

In the same year this record came out, 1977, she opened the first episode of the American TV show Live at the MET, and it was to be followed by many more live recorded performances. She ended her career at a ripe old age as a stage director, and died just last year, aged 89. I’ve heard that as a singer you have to have a rigorously healthy lifestyle, because your body is your instrument. Maybe it also gets you old.

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