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Subject: Re: Franco Corelli & Stefan Zucker
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Fri, 19 Jan 2018 18:36:39 -0500
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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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