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Subject: Re: Franco Corelli & Stefan Zucker
From: Karl Ufert <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Karl Ufert <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:34:32 -0500
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AllzzIKnow is that the interviews with Corelli and Hines that were recorded with Zucker were among the most interesting I ever heard. I also saw one of the live sessions in New York and will never forget having had the chance to witness Corelli live, a decade after, when I was a very, very young “tween,” having just started my interest in opera, I missed hearing him sing in New Jersey. If I had even been a couple of years older when he made those last singing appearances, I would have begged, borrowed or stole to get in to hear/see him perform live. 

Zucker is a cartoon character, who loves/loved being provocative and ridiculous. Zucker is also a brilliant, comprehensively knowledgeable scholar of the things that interest him. All of that, including the deep insights into singing from Corelli and Hines in the recordings, and the talk that I heard/saw live, in-person, made the interviews surreal, amusing, yet BRILLIANTLY informative. I feel blessed to have witnessed/heard these great events, and, again, will — like the brilliant, weird, hilarious, touching and, again, astonishingly valuable and informative “Opera Fanatic: Stefan Zucker and the Divas” documentary — never forget them. Oh, and on that documentary, little ole’ me, and my late mom (no, this is not Zucker under a nom de plume, writing about Rosina Wolf... lol!), first watched the doc with some dear friends, some of whom were and still are, interestingly enough, some of the most important people in the music business. We watched in a friend’s bedroom of all places — some sitting on the bed, some on chairs, some of us on the floor — in quasi slumber-party mode, cheering like we were watching a football game when folks like Simionato and Olivero showed up in the doc (and SANG!!!), and literally laughing so hard that we were crying at the sheer, inimitable, wonderful, ridiculous, lovely absurdity of the interviews with Barbieri (I would have loved to have dinner with her!!!), Pobbe (OMG! 😱) and Gencer! It is one of my most fun life memories.

Separate note, re: Galvany: She too was a performer from my youth — from having been a precocious, opera-loving, opera-going tween to my 20s — and I always loved the voice. It was big and interesting and, especially when she sang in the higher register, not, imho, as “harsh” as people made it out to be. She also did very beautiful piano singing (I.e. soft, pianissimi, et. al.), and the middle was rich and, again, imho, interesting. She also had that big voice in her heyday and a high E-flat. Pretty darned amazing in my book. I’ll especially never forget the Canadian Opera broadcast — we used to get them on radio in NYC — of her Turandot. 

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