Renata’s revenge

After more than a quarter of a century, Renata Scotto gets the last word over that silly queen who made a career of disrupting her Met performances. The DVD of the “Live from the Met” telecast of Luisa Miller was released today, and is available at Amazon.com at a 30% discount off the list price. This is the performance of January 20, 1979, during which Fernando or whatever her name was shrieked “Brava Maria Callas!” in the instant of silence before Scotto launched into “Lo vidi, e ‘l primo palpito.” No word so far as to whether the DVD preserves this non-Verdian interpolation, but the important news here is that this Luisa Miller is one of the triumphs of the early James Levine era at the Met, with Placido Domingo, Sherrill Milnes, Bonaldo Giaiotti, James Morris and of course La Scottissima herself in A+ form. If memory serves (remember, it’s been 25 years since La Cieca’s weary eyes have feasted on this video), the live camerawork is far simpler and more immediate than the overly tweaked fussiness that plagued the Brian Large extravaganzas of the 1980s.

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