Photo Journal: Renata Scotto Directs Sonnambula for Florida Grand Opera

Classic Arts News   Photo Journal: Renata Scotto Directs Sonnambula for Florida Grand Opera
Back in the 1960s and '70s, when she was one of the world's leading sopranos, Renata Scotto made a specialty of Amina in La sonnambula ("The Sleepwalker"). In fact, she first shot to international fame as Bellini's sleepwalker, taking over on short notice for Maria Callas at the 1957 Edinburgh Festival.

Now La Scotto has become a vocal coach and stage director. Her most recent production — of which we offer some snapshots below — is a new Sonnambula for Florida Grand Opera which opened on February 10 at the Carnival Center in Miami.

In the title role, Leah Partridge gives what Jack Zink of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel called "a splendid, multihued performance ... [her] coloratura ranges from silvery to ebony ... [and she] sustains a credible balance of the occasionally too-close-for-comfort mishmash of joy and sorrow."

As Amina's fianc_, Elvino, Bruce Sledge "displayed a plangent lyric tenor, assured stage presence and great facility in Bellini's long lines," wrote Lawrence A. Johnson in The Miami Herald, "throwing off top Cs and Ds with ease." Bass-baritone David Pittsinger sings the role of Count Rodolfo "with a commanding yet velvet presence" (Sun-Sentinel). And in the pit is veteran conductor Richard Bonynge, whose experience with this score includes numerous performances with his own wife (a certain Joan Sutherland).

La sonnambula receives one further performance at the Carnival Center in Miami, tomorrow night at 8 p.m., and then travels up I-95 to Fort Lauderdale for two performances at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on March 1 and 3. More information and tickets are available at

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All photos by Debra Gray Mitchell

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