OP2083. PHILÉMON ET BAUCIS (in Italian) (Gounod), Broadcast Performance, 4 Oct., 1960, w.Sanzogno Cond. RAI Ensemble, Milano; Renata Scotto, Alvinio Misciano, Rolando Panerai, Paolo Montarsolo, etc.; La Rosa Parodi Cond. RAI S.O., Roma: Wind Symphony in B-flat (Gounod), Broadcast Performance, 9 Jan., 1960. (E.U.) 2-Myto 00254. - 0801439902541
“Renata Scotto's long and successful operatic career was marked by a rare combination of dramatic intensity and vocal flexibility, which allowed her to traverse a wide variety of styles. She believed strongly in the theatrical elements of performing and always focused her energies on the meaning of a text. She also felt much of the standard verismo performing tradition to be exaggerated and vulgar, and strove to keep her performances as close to the composer's marked intentions as possible, especially with respect to subtleties of dynamics. Many speak of her as ‘the last of the divas’.
She began vocal studies when she was 14, and moved to Milan when she was 16. In 1952, when she was just 19, she made her debut as Violetta (LA TRAVIATA) at the Teatro Nuovo, followed by her La Scala debut as Walter in LA WALLY. However, only a few years later she had a vocal crisis, losing most of her upper range; she now credits her recovery to Alfredo Kraus (himself renowned for a solid technique and vocal longevity), who introduced her to his teacher, Mercedes Llopart. After completely restudying her technique, she re-began her career as a coloratura, making her London debut at the Stoll Theater as Adina in L'ELISIR D'AMORE. She returned to La Scala, and in 1957, replaced Maria Callas (whom she had greatly admired) as Amina in LA SONNAMBULA.
In 1960, she debuted at the Chicago Opera as Mimi (LA BOHEME), followed by her Covent Garden debut in 1962 as Puccini's Cio-Cio san (MADAMA BUTTERFLY). Her Metropolitan Opera debut was in 1965 was also as Butterfly; during the next two decades, Scotto was one of their major stars, appearing in several telecasts.
She began to add the heavier roles to her repertoire again, including Verdi's Lady Macbeth, which was to become a signature role, as well as verismo parts such as Fedora, La Gioconda, Francesca in Zandonai's FRANCESCA DA RIMINI and Maddalena in ANDREA CHENIER. In all of these roles she was applauded for her committed acting and stylistic fluency. While no recording can fully recreate the impressions of a stage performance, her first recording of MADAMA BUTTERFLY, under John Barbirolli, is one of her most vivid.”
- Anne Feeney, 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
"In the same vein as Magda Olivero and Claudia Muzio, [Scotto’s] singing is a paragon of class, communication, and emotional authenticity."
- Raymond Tuttle, FANFARE, May/June, 2006
“A lyric tenor who was an excellent musician, a fine actor who retained his youthful good looks into his fifties, the Italian opera singer Alvinio Misciano enjoyed a successful career lasting more than 25 years. Though he toured Australia and South Africa, visited North and South America, Cairo, Vienna, Prague, Paris and London, he sang mainly in Italy, where he appeared at all the major opera-houses, particularly at La Scala, Milan. He created roles in a number of operas, including Poulenc's DIALOGUES DES CARMELITES, works by Guido Turchi, Renzo Rossellini and Valerio Mortari. His voice, bright-toned and firmly focused, though not very large, was unsuited to Romantic 19th-century music, but his repertory contained, besides many 18th- and 20th-century operas, several Rossini roles, Verdi's Alfredo and Fenton, and the title role of Mascagni's L'AMICO FRITZ.
Misciano studied at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome with Gino Scolari and the Rome Opera School with Mario Basiola. He made his début in 1946 in Rome as Arturo in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR. After touring South Africa and Australia with Italian companies, in the early 1950s he appeared at Trieste, Palermo and Rio de Janeiro.
He first sang at La Scala in 1956, as Mephisto in Prokoviev's FIERY ANGEL, then in 1957, he created the Father Confessor in Poulenc's DIALOGUES DES CARMELITES there. The same year he sang Gonzalvo in Cherubini's LES ABENCERAGES at the Florence Maggio Musicale, and made his US début at Chicago as Wilhelm Meister in Thomas' MIGNON. He returned to Chicago in 1958 for Fenton, Rinuccio in GIANNI SCHICCHI and Almaviva in Rossini's BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, which he also sang at Dallas.
The next decade was the busiest in Misciano's whole career. At La Scala he sang Lysander in Britten's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM and created Captain Pelikan in Guido Turchi's IL BUON SOLDATO SVEJK (1962), adapted from the novel THE GOOD SOLDIER SCHWEIK. At La Piccola Scala he sang Asciano in Pergolesi's LO FRATE 'NNAMORATO, Count Alberto in Rossini's L'OCCASIONE FA IL LADRO and created Il Cugino (the Cousin) in Renzo Rossellini's IL LINGU- AGGIO DEI FIORI (1962), adapted from a play by Lorca. He appeared in Genoa, Brescia and Budapest as Alfredo, at the Spoleto Festival as Anatol in Samuel Barber's VANESSA, in Athens as Massenet's WERTHER, and Paolino in Cimarosa's IL MATRIMONIO SEGRETO, and at Florence as Caloandro in Paisiello's LA MOLINARA.
In October 1962 he began a three-month stint at the Theatre des Champs- Elysées, Paris, as Angelo in Gilbert Becaud's L'OPERA D'ARAN (based on the screenplay of Robert Flaherty's film), in which an Italian sailor is washed up, half-drowned, on the shore of the Island of Aran. In this entertainment, Misciano's acting ability and youthful appearance were of more importance than his vocal prowess, but it was a very enjoyable performance all the same. Back in Florence, he sang Max in Krenek's JONNY SPIELT AUF. At La Scala in 1966, he sang Fenney in Richard Rodney Bennett's THE MINES OF SULPHUR and created Vaska in Rossellini's LA LEGGENDA DEL RITORNO (taken from an episode in THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV).
After taking part in the premiere of Luciano Chailly's opera Vassiliev at Genoa in 1967, the following year Misciano sang Alwa in Berg's LULU for the first time (in Italian) at the Rome Opera. He then embarked with the ‘Piccolo Teatro Musicale’ of the city of Rome for New York, where he sang Edoardo Milfort in Rossini's CAMBIALE DI MATRIMONIO and Almaviva in Paisiello's BARBER at Carnegie Hall, later repeating the two operas in Montréal.
Appropriately, Misciano made his final appearance at La Scala as Mephisto, the role of his début there 14 years before, in a new production of THE FIERY ANGEL in 1970. He sang Jim in Weill's RISE AND FALL OF THE CITY OF MAHAGONNY at Turin in 1971, Prunier in Puccini's LA RONDINE at Venice in 1973, and then retired.”
- Elizabeth Forbes, THE INDEPENDENT, 31 March, 1997
"Rolando Panerai was born in Ciampi Bisenzio, near Florence, Italy. He studied with Frazzi in Florence and Armani and Giulia Tess in Milan. Panerai made his debut as the pharaon in Rossini's MOSÈ IN EGITTO at the Teatro di San Carlo of Naples in 1947. Other important debut were as Simon Boccanegra in Bergamo and as Sharpless in MADAMA BUTTERFLY at La Scala in Milan both in 1951. He sang in many rarely performed Verdi opera such as GIOVANNA D'ARCO, LA BATTAGLIA DI LEGNANO, AROLDO, on radio broadcast for RAI in 1951, to commemorate Verdi's 50th death anniversary. Later roles included the great Verdi baritone roles such as Rigoletto, di Luna in IL TROVATORE, Germont in LA TRAVIATA, Amonasro in AÏDA. He also enjoyed considerable success in comic roles making a specialty of such roles as Figaro in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Leporello in DON GIOVANNI, both Guglielmo and Alfonso in COSÌ FAN TUTTE, roles he often sang at both the Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg festivals. He also excelled as Figaro in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, as both Belcore and Dulcamara in L'ELISIR D'AMORE, Malatesta and the title role in DON PASQUALE. Rolando Panerai has a dark and vibrant voice, and has enjoyed a remarkably long and distinguished career singing Germont as recently as the year 2000 in a French television production of LA TRAVIATA next to Jose Cura and Eteri Gvazava, his voice in very good shape for a man of 76."
- Z. D. Akron