Q&A with Opera Legend Renata Scotto

renata-high-res-headshotA select group of singers will enjoy the rare opportunity to learn from a legend in Opera Naples’ inaugural Renata Scotto Opera Program. Partnering with Opera Naples Artistic Director Ramón Tebar, the exalted Italian soprano will conduct master classes, each of which will conclude with a public concert at the Wang Opera Center, Naples, January 21 and 25, and March 13 and 18.

Scotto’s award-studded stage career spanned 40 years, 60-plus roles, and worldwide top venues—the Metropolitan, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco, London’s Royal Opera, and many others. During her stage career, she also taught others, and after retiring from performing, Scotto took on directing as well.

In addition to this Opera Naples program, Scotto will be the star guest at the gala, An Evening in Monte Carlo, January 20 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, and will speak at the Evening With Renata Scotto event at the Wang Opera Center, January 21.

on-renatasoto-posterNI: How did you become involved with Opera Naples?

Scotto: It was through Ramón Tebar. We were in Miami, working on La Sonnambula, and we became good friends. He had the idea to have courses for young artists in Naples. The reputation of Opera Naples is very good, and Naples is beautiful. So I said yes.

Would you characterize your teaching style as steel or velvet?

Absolutely like velvet—with some things. I respect the personality. I am looking to have a person who understands how important it is to be in front of an audience. You are a singer, giving your voice. In a soft way, I say your voice is not yours, it’s for someone else. It’s a gift from God and you have to understand how to give the gift the best. I’m strict, though, because I repeat things until I get what I think is good. So I would say I am velvety with steel.

How do you see opera’s future?

The future is in danger, but not because of singing. There are so many singers. We need directors who understand how to support the beautiful art of music. I directed operas myself, and would think about respect for the composer first, respect for the stage, and respect mainly for the audience. If you are able to do this, opera will have a future.

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