In his new memoir ‘Words and Music’, out next month, Stephen Rubin recounts how the ‘tempestuous diva’ Renata Scotto used the New York Times to wind the Metropolita Opera around her little finger.
Steve, despatched to interview her, asked for a professional assessment of her contemporaries.
Sutherland? ‘Great voice.’
Callas? ‘Great actress’.
Sills? ‘Great woman’.
She went on to say: ‘I sing for eight years at the Met now and I don’t have one new productio,, never, and no opening night either! I will not sing at the Met again until they give me a new production or opening night.’
Steve adds: Scotto’s bold frontal attack worked. She ultimately became a great favourite of music director James Levine and for a while was the Met’s reigning diva…. I have never encountered anouther artist who used the press in as overtly self-serving a manner as Scotto did, and got away with it.’
He concludea; ‘What a piece of work she was.’