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Subject: Re: Renata Scotto
From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 11 Oct 2018 15:42:08 -0500
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Issac:
    While I give you no argument about singers who sing long after their "shelf date", I find your movie legend analogies somewhat misplaced.  First off, Scotto actually had a very long career, and if she developed vocal problems (which she certainly did "big time"), they didn't really become horrendous until around 1985 (she did a really vocally threadbare Tosca here in Chicago in 1987, but continued to go on and even undertake Kundry and the Marshallin in the very late 1980's and into the very early 1990's -- both of which must have been horrible). By that time she was already close to sixty and felt she had nothing to lose.  Callas, however, was much younger ------- still in her late thirties, when her vocal problems really became an issue.  She was also an artist whose personal life was swamped by psychological, and in all probability, emotional and psychiatric issues.  By the time she reached forty, her life's work was over, but her operatic accomplishments during the decade of the 1950s were such that it no longer made any real difference.  She simply reached such artistic heights that she couldn't sustain those heights any longer.  
    Both Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn grew to be quite elderly, and Davis became very ill after suffering from a stroke as well as cancer, which did her in at age 81.  Katharine Hepburn lived into her late nineties, and did almost nothing of note after winning her 4th Oscar for "On Golden Pond" in 1982 (with a few made-for-TV films notwithstanding).  Hank Fonda's final film, "On Golden Pond", released in 1981, finally won him a long overdue best actor Oscar. His performance was hardly the work of a struggling actor.  Spencer Tracy's four final films, "Judgement at Nuremberg", "Inherit the Wind", "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Mad World" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (which won an Oscar for Katharine Hepburn) were all made in the 1960s (Tracy did in 1967) and were all money makers.  Truth to tell, Spencer Tracy went out with a bang.
    If you want to talk about "struggling" actors at the end of their film careers, just think about John Barrymore (whose alcohol addiction made him verboten in Hollywood) or Joan Crawford (who was reduced to taking roles in films like "Berzerk" and "Trog", which were her final two pictures.
    Like in opera, film, there are many people in many different professions who continue to work long after "the parade has past them by".  
    And what of our dear, now departed Montserrat Caballe'?  She finally stopped singing (doing recitals)
until just a few years ago, when her once-magnificent voice had morphed into that of a blatant croak.
For some, it's very hard to "let go"
    
> On October 11, 2018 at 7:21 AM Isaac Alan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 
> Ms Scotto would surely not be the first Diva to have sung past her prime time, and I am certain she will not be the last.
> 
> Not unlike Callas, Renata Scotto very certainly gave a few regrettable performances as her gifts faded, but in the case of both ladies, they were given with great artistry, and in the light of previously magnificent careers.
> 
> 
> The same might be said of Henry Fonda, Spencer Tracey, Katherine Hepburn and Bette Davis, as all four struggled in their final movie moments, but each one left a magnificent legacy behind them.
> 
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Isaac
> 
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