Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Renata Scotto Chats About Being One Of Opera's Chosen

Madame Scotto explains to the audience the major differences between opera 50 years ago and today.
Last night, WQXR hosted a live webcast featuring performances and interviews centering around tenor Michael Fabiano: "Tonight at 7 pm, join us for a live webcast of Italian opera excerpts and songs in The Greene Space, headlined by American tenor Michael Fabiano. Fabiano, the recipient of the 2014 Richard Tucker Award and the 2014 Beverly Sills Artist Award, has performed at opera houses around the world, and is noted for his vocal style, physical dash and star power. Operavore blogger Fred Plotkin recently named him one of his '40 under 40' opera singers. The evening also features performances by Richard Tucker Grant winners Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano, and Brandon Cedel, bass-baritone. Legendary soprano Renata Scotto makes a guest appearance in conversation with WQXR’s Naomi Lewin, discussing her collaborations with Richard Tucker and her role as a master teacher imparting the traditions of Italian opera to a new generation of American opera singers." The highlight was when Renata Scotto took the chair to be interviewed about her career and thoughts about opera now. Some of her responses included the difference in how today's singers study and prepare roles; are they singing for themselves or for the audience?; with many singers in the world, only
Hard Worker: Michael Fabiano prides himself
 on having the American work ethic. 
a few are "elected" or "chosen" to become successful; discussing performing for television cameras in La Bohème and that sparked her to lose weight; singers today shouldn't worry about looking good for the HD cameras, that is the job of the costumer, make-up artists, director, and television staff; listening for the first time to an excerpt from Rigoletto with Richard Tucker at the Teatro Cologne in 1967; talking about her American debut in 1960 with Richard Tucker in La Bohème while on her honeymoon; getting cookies on the doorstep of her Park Avenue apartment from Richard Tucker's wife; what responsibility she feels to opera being an Italian; why she thinks Felice Romani is the greatest librettist to ever live; and finally whether she prefers sfogliatelle or cannoli*. Watch the video of the evening, after the jump.

[Source]

*Spoiler: Michael Fabiano claims "you can stuff cannoli down my throat all day."

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