Opera Scotland

Graziella Sciutti Suggest updates

Born Turin, 16 April 1927.

Died Geneva, 9 April 2001.

Italian soprano.

Graziella Sciutti was, for over twenty years, one of the most successful artists in the repertoire commonly described as 'soubrette' - a beautiful light lyric voice combined with a charming and vivacious personality to make her the ideal performer of many roles by Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and others.

Her training was at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. While still a student she sang in the Saint Matthew Passion in Rome conducted by Karajan, and was immediately engaged for the Aix-en-Provence Festival. Her first roles, in 1951, were Lucy in The Telephone and Carolina in Il matrimonio segreto. She quickly returned there, singing three Mozart parts which would remain central to her career - Susanna, Zerliina and Despina.

Her British debut in 1954 was as Rosina at Glyndebourne, and she later appeared there regularly in such parts as Nannetta, Susanna, Mélisande and Fiorilla. Her final role at the Festival, in 1977, was Elle in La voix humaine, which she also directed.

Her debut at Covent Garden in 1956 was as Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, and her later appearances with the Royal Opera were as Nannetta, Susanna and Despina.

Her debut in Milan was for the opening in 1955 of the Piccola Scala, when she sang Carolina. This role marked her only Scottish appearances in 1957, when the Piccola Scala brought a starry company to Edinburgh, including Maria Callas and Giuseppe di Stefano.

She appeared frequently in the USA (both San Francisco and the Met), and at La Scala, the Vienna State Opera and Salzburg Festival.

After her retirement from singing she had a successful second career as a director and teacher. working in Canada, the USA, Germany and Italy, as well as in London and at her home in Switzerland. In London she directed student productions of Puccini's Trittico at the Royal College of Music (1987) and of Don Giovanni at the Royal Academy of Music (1993).

She created the role of Marianne in  Les Caprices de Marianne by Sauguet (Aix 1954). Several of her roles were recorded, including Carolina, Susanna and Zerlina in classic accounts of the works in question. Her Nannetta, Norina and Marzelline appear in versions where her supporting casts are less consistently excellent. There is also a live recording of Il turco in Italia.

Roles in Scotland

Carolina Geronimo's second daughter
Matrimonio segreto 1957

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