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Subject: Re: Franco Corelli & Stefan Zucker
From: Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:17:55 -0500
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It seems Mr. Zucker  always needs a "John Alden" to deliver his missives.
I assume it was for standing "Underneath the Lanern, by the Barrack gate"
trying to hawk his wares?

On Sat, Jan 20, 2018 at 9:41 AM, Rudi Van den Bulck <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> When Zucker's first 'Corelli' (sick) book came out. Our reviewer on
> operanostalgia started his piece with"
>
> "Author, publisher and editor -all rolled in one-  announces this book as
> part of three volumes which discuss the evolution of 200 years of tenor
> singing. Now don’t expect a spun out story full of an internal logic which
> leads from the times of Nourrit to the emergence of Calleja, Florez or
> Kaufmann. In reality Mr. Zucker tries by hook and by crook to sell the
> pirated CD’s and DVD’s he produces. Hence, the 34 pages entirely devoted to
> his commercial catalogue (pages 322 -356). By crook too is the
> advertisement on the sleeve that announces “Robert Tuggle, Director of The
> Metropolitan Opera Archives, contributes a chapter on Björling to the
> appendices”. This “chapter” consists of a grand total of 49 lines
> concentrating on the tenor’s fees at the Met and in which Tuggle proves
> that Bjorling was the supreme tenor of his time, in America at least,
> proven by his fees compared to other tenors and singers at the Met.
> I am fairly confident Mr. Tuggle will not be too happy with Mr. Zucker
> trying to sell his book by implying that a serious researcher contributed
> “a chapter” on Björling. Another feature (surely well-known to members of
> Opera-L) is Mr. Zucker’s penchant for titillating sex stories. Up to now
> few or any opera lovers at all had Mr. Zucker’s eagle eyes which lead him
> to write in a caption for a well-known innocent photograph of Del Monaco
> and Caniglia after a performance of Chénier: “Did he really sing with his
> genitals in that position ?” The second volume in this series surely
> promises to be most interesting as Mr. Zuckers promotes this
> book-to-be-published with a so-called Franco Corelli quote: “People assume
> that in old age I am hearing Verdi and Puccini in my mind’s ear. No! The
> music I am hearing and that keeps me going is the sound of Teresa
> Zylis-Gara having orgasms. “
>
> which led to a mail to me by the late Albert innaurato saying the reviewer
> was far too kind......
>
> For those who want to read the whole review, a review of volume two will
> follow soon :
>
> http://www.operanostalgia.be/html/CORELLI-Zucker.html
>
> RvdB
>
>
>
> Stephen Charitan wrote:
>
> "The whole thing ["Opera Fanatic"] was a colossal missed opportunity.  All
> of those
> wonderful
> post - verismo divas who also experienced the Bel Canto revival - and the
> only subject on Zucker's agenda is "voce di petto."   After hearing him
> prissily extrude the words a few times even the humor of Zucker's personal
> absurdity drains away and the net result is frustration.  These gracious,
> humorous, articulate ladies had so much to say - unfortunately they trusted
> all of these qualities to an utter Buffoon."
>
> That was my reaction, too, when I first saw "Opera Fanatic."  (That, and
> Zucker's apparent
> obsession with "What was the highest note you ever sang?" which struck me
> as an inane
> question to focus on.)  But I subsequently learned that Zucker did not
> edit that
> documentary and may not even have given final approval to it, and that his
> interviews -
> which were wide-ranging and as in-depth as the circumstances would allow -
> covered a lot
> more than voce di petto and high notes.  A lot of really interesting stuff
> wound up on the
> cutting room floor, as one can see from the Opera Fanatic website:
>
> https://www.belcantosociety.org/category/interview/
>
> What I suspect happened is that some clueless editor decided, post hoc,
> that the "voce di
> petto" and "highest note" questions made for a nice thematic device and so
> focused on
> them to the exclusion of other exchanges.  That was not Stefan's fault and
> it undoubtably
> gives a false impression of what those interviews actually covered.
>
> That Stefan Zucker is a very knowledgeable and competent interviewer of
> singers is evident
> from even a cursory listening to recordings of his radio programs.  I
> doubt that "Opera
> Fanatic" is fair to Stefan's abilities, nor should he be judged based on
> that documentary.
>
> I should add that Zucker himself, in his comments about "Opera Fanatic,"
> has always been
> very circumspect about criticizing the documentary, but my strong
> impression from other
> sources is that he was not happy with it.
>
> MDW
>
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