OP1913. ZAIRA (Bellini), Live Performance, 30 March, 1976, Catania, w.Belardinelli Cond. Teatro Massimo Bellini Ensemble; Renata Scotto, Giorgio Casellato–Lamberti, Luigi Roni, Luisa Nave, Mario Rinaudo, etc.; La Straniera – Excerpts, Live Performance, 10 Dec., 1968, w.Sanzogno Cond. Teatro Massimo di Palermo Ensemble; Renata Scotto, Renato Cioni, Dominico Trimarchi, etc. (E.U.) 3–Myto MDCD 0013. - 3030257900133
“After making a name for herself in the standard repertoire, Renata Scotto devoted a good deal of her energies to exploring forgotten operas, like ZAIRA. Sadly ZAIRA was not able to capitalize on this revival and has since languished in obscurity. I say sadly because it has all of the traits that make operas like NORMA and I PURITANI so compelling: vocal writing displaying the highest understanding of the human voice, coupled with exciting dramatic momentum. Renata Scotto gives a nuanced and beautifully sung performance and demonstrates that she was the queen of Italian style of her day. The sound is excellent.”
“Known for her dramatic singing style, Renata Scotto excels in the Italian repertoire, including Bellini's NORMA and Puccini's MADAMA BUTTERFLY. She has performed in more than 45 operas all over the world.
Born in Italy in 1934, Renata Scotto made her operatic début in her hometown of Savona on Christmas Eve, 1952 in LA TRAVIATA. She made her professional opera début at the Teatro Nuovo as Violetta, a rôle she earned by winning the Milan Lyric Association competition. With a blooming musical career, she auditioned for the part of Walter in Catalani's LA WALLY, performed at La Scala in Milan. She instantly received the part and was called back for fifteen curtain calls on opening night, 7 Dec., 1953.
In 1957, the La Scala Company had been in Edinburgh performing Bellini's LA SONNAMBULA, with Maria Callas as Amina. Due to the enormous interest, La Scala decided to add more performances. When Callas refused to do another performance, Scotto was called to replace her. With the success of her performance in this rôle, she became an international star.
With her operatic success came personal success as well. In 1960, Scotto performed at the Royal Opera House as Mimi in LA BOHÈME. She made her United States début with the Metropolitan Opera in 1965 as Cio-Cio-San in MADAMA BUTTERFLY. A quote from the New York Herald Tribune called the performance ‘an occasion for rejoicing, and there was plenty of it in the form of applause and welcoming shouts to the new artist who, above all, is distinctly an individual’."
- Kim Summers, allmusic.com
"Renata Scotto is a musician. She is a studious woman who is devoted to her career. I have seen her at work and her dedication to opera is complete, profound, and remarkable. She will finish singing only to return to the score and study again. She has given herself to opera, body and soul; and she never stops learning. That is why her characterizations are always so fresh."
- Plácido Domingo, SCOTTO, MORE THAN A DIVA, p.xii
“Giorgio Casellato-Lamberti was a member of that last generation of the ‘once inexhaustible breed; the Italian tenor’. He came to prominence in the sixties together with other young hopefuls like Ruggero Bondino, Enzo Tei, Franco Tagliavini, Beniamino Prior and Luciano Pavarotti. Mr. Lamberti’s voice has not the many subtleties and the beauty in the middle register of Carlo Bergonzi; nor did he have the stentorian overwhelming sound of Corelli and Del Monaco, but somewhere he was more representative of the breed than either one of those vocal gods. There is a red thread running through vocal history of talented Italians, trumpet voiced, who could cut through any orchestra and chorus. They didn’t have the amazing vocal beauty of Gigli or young Di Stefano but they did the heavy work in other houses than La Scala or the Met; they did the foreign tours where their sound was identified as typical Italian. After the war there appeared Annaloro, Zambruno, Turrini, Lo Forese, Gismondo and Ottolini in that mould. Of them all Lamberti was definitely the best. He could fill big barns like La Scala and the Met. At the Verona Arena he had no problem filling the open space.
The voice always sounds homogenous from bottom to brilliant top. It is slender but still strong with a lot of metal in it. It is bright and well focused. There aren’t a myriad amount of colours in it but it’s still personal and recognizable. The top can be cutting and is often glorious. Indeed one thinks of Hope-Wallace in The Gramophone once describing young Corelli as ‘a shameless top-note hunter’. So is Casellato-Lamberti now and then, holding the high B in ‘La donna è mobile’ for some ten seconds (as did Corelli). Casellato-Lamberti’s voice above the stave gets an extra gleam and ring and it is a prime example of squillo. Casellato-Lamberti’s voice is somewhat similar to the young Pavarotti; maybe a little bit less rich. Still, the differences being slight they teach us a lesson. One singer marginally better than the other, is a household word due to an American publicity genius while the other is more or less forgotten in the wide world. If Casellato-Lamberti were to sing today, he would reign supreme in Italy.”
Jan Neckers, Operanostalgia