OP2186. ROBERT LE DIABLE (in Italian), Live Performance, 7 May, 1968, Firenze, w.Sanzogno Cond. Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Ensemble; Renata Scotto, Boris Christoff, Giorgio Merighi, Stefania Malagù, Gianfranco Manganotti, etc.; Boris Christoff, w.von Matacic, Simonetto & Pradella Cond. RAI S.O., Torino & Roma: Mozart Concert Arias; Arias & Scenes from Don Giovanni, Barbiere, Macbeth, Mefistofele & Boris Godounov, Broadcasts, 1961-62. (E.U.) 3-Myto MDCD 0006. Specially priced. - 3830257900061
"...there is the beauty of the voice itself, black and majestic, but capable of melting to the warmest of velvet; a voice that can damn and bless within the same breath. Add to all this a magnificent sense of presence and in Boris Christoff we have a true mastersinger of our time."
- Michael Letchford, Liner Notes to HMV LP set
“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