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Renata Scotto and Jose Carreras sing Verdi and Puccini this week on The Lyric Stage

Two of the finest singers of their era were Renata Scotto and Jose Carreras, and this week these two singers join in selections from Verdi and Puccini, in roles that were among their best - La Traviata, and Madama Butterfly.

We begin with La Traviata, Scotto's professional debut role in 1952 at the Teatro Nuovo theater in Milan. She was 18, and it was a start that led to a career at most of the major opera houses of the world for the next several decades.

The performance we have with Jose Carreras was in Japan in 1973. Carerras was 27, and he never sang better.

Sesto Briscantini is Germont, and Nino Verchi conducts the NHK Symphony orchestra and chorus.

The Butterfly excerpts are from Act 1 of a live radio broadcast performance in San Francisco in October of 1974, just a year after the Traviata recording. Jose Carreras made his American debut as Pinkerton at NYCO in 1972.