Ep. 3: Renata Scotto & George Shirley: A Love Duet (EXCLUSIVE)

November 5, 2015

Feat. opera celebrities Renata Scotto, soprano, and George Shirley, tenor.

'I am controversial because I speak the truth, and sometimes people think I should not do that." - Renata Scotto (LA Times, 3/22/1985)

Recognized for her sense of style, musicality and as a remarkable singer-actress, Renata Scotto (soprano) is considered one of the preeminent singers of her generation, with an extensive repertory spanning more than 100 roles.

Ms. Scotto has established herself as one of the most sought after teachers of vocal style and technique on the international circuit.  She has presented select master classes at the Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, Yale University, the Russian Opera Center in Moscow, Tokyo University, Pittsburgh Opera, Paris Opera Bastille, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s American Artists Program and the Lindemann Young Artists Program at the Metropolitan Opera.  In Italy, she has presented master classes for the Young Artists Program at La Scala in Milan and at the Verdi Institute in Parma. Her master classes have also been held in Switzerland at the Verbier Festival and Academy. In 1995, Mme Scotto was elected President of the famous A.S.L.I.C.O competition in Milan.  She heads the Young Artists Development Program of Rome’s Accademia di Santa Cecilia. In June 2003, Ms. Scotto inaugurated Renata Scotto Opera Academy at the Westchester Music Conservatory in New York.

Among other honors, Ms. Scotto is the recipient of two Emmy awards for the telecast of La Gioconda and her direction of La traviata at the New York City Opera.


George Shirley (tenor) is in demand nationally and internationally as performer, teacher and lecturer. He has won international acclaim for his performances in the world's great opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera (New York), Royal Opera (Covent Garden, London), Deutsche Oper (Berlin), Téatro Colón (Buenos Aires), Netherlands Opera (Amsterdam), L'Opéra de Monte Carlo, New York City Opera, Scottish Opera (Glasgow), Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera (Kennedy Center), Michigan Opera Theater, Glyndebourne Festival, and Santa Fe Opera.

He has recorded for RCA, Columbia, Decca, Angel, Vanguard, CRI, and Philips and received a Grammy Award in 1968 for his role (Ferrando) in the RCA recording of Mozart's Così fan tutte.

In addition to oratorio and concert literature, Mr. Shirley has, in a career that spans 49 years, performed more than 80 operatic roles in major opera houses around the globe with many of the world's most renowned conductors (Solti, Klemperer, Stravinsky, Ormandy, von Karajan, Colin Davis, Boehm, Ozawa, Haitink, Boult, Leinsdorf, Boulez, DePriest, Krips, Cleva, Dorati, Pritchard, Bernstein, Maazel and others).

Professor Shirley was the first African-American to be appointed to a high school teaching post in music in Detroit, the first African-American member of the United States Army Chorus in Washington, D.C., and the first African-American tenor and second African-American male to sing leading roles with the Metropolitan Opera, where he remained for eleven years.

Mr. Shirley has served on three occasions as a master teacher in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern Program for Young NATS Teachers. He was also a member of the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School for ten years.

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