Editor’s note: The Venetian Arts Society of Fort Lauderdale will present The Life and Career of Renata Scotto, featuring rare video footage of the opera singer, personal tributes from friends and colleagues and an interactive dialogue with the prima donna, at 6 p.m. Feb. 24, 2017, at Village Centre Auditorium at John Knox Village (JKV) 651 SW 6th St., Pompano Beach. (The event, which includes hors d’oeuvres and champagne, is $45, members; $65, non-members. 954-709-7447, venetianartssociety.org). The following Q&A is from our April 2016 interview with Mme. Scotto, when she received the VAS’s first ICON Award.
By Greg Carannnante
City & Shore Magazine
At 82, in the coda to a 60-year career, perhaps the greatest soprano of her generation still gives back to her beloved opera by teaching at The Met and Juilliard and discovering talented young singers from Italy to New York.
The seasonal Broward resident was recently honored with the Venetian Arts Society’s first ICON Award. In a delightful Italian accent, she inaugurates our first Quote Unquote interview, which borrows from Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire, with a pop-culture South Florida spin.
Q. Aside from the weather, what do you dislike most about South Florida?
A. When I find people that don’t know about music – about opera, nothing. I went to a shop and there was a lady there who insisted she recognized Renata Scotto, but not me. I said, ‘I am Renata Scotto,’ and she said, ‘Oh, c’mon.’ And she was laughing. I said, ‘Really.’ She said, ‘C’mon, no, no, no – she’s a great singer.’ I said, ‘They told me she’s a great singer.’ And then I laughed so hard.
Q. Are you a beach person or a pool person?
Q. What music are you listening to now?
A. I only listen to classical music, baroque to contemporary. Sometimes I try to listen to some songs – I don’t know, it’s just boring. I’m sorry, I should understand why people became so popular doing that music.
Q. If you had to choose: Rocky or Raging Bull?
A. No Rocky because I hate absolutely boxing. But Raging Bull, yes, because De Niro gave a great acting moment. I’m a movie buff. I watch every movie that comes out, but I don’t like violence.
Q. What South Florida spots do you recommend to visitors?
A. For the art, I would say Miami. But I like very much Palm Beach. It’s a modern town, has a beautiful theater, a lot of young people. And a lot of the other people, besides the young [laughs].
Q. If you could change one thing about yourself,
what would it be?
Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
A. Ohhh, my God. I can only think about my children. And to find the right man [husband Lorenzo Anselmi]. For a singer, it’s a great achievement to find the right man. And I found it.