Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Giulietta Simionato, Anita Cerquetti, Magda Olivero, Stefan Zucker, Leyla Gencer
Genres: Indie & Art House, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Great diva footage, but interviewer is too self-indulgent.
A Minnesota Jew | New York, NY United States | 09/28/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The divas' comments, interspersed with judicious video excerpts of them in performance, reveal fascinating artistic and personal qualities. Many gems here. However, too much time is wasted on Stefan Zucker's comic (and sometimes tasteless) shtick. He has so much insight to offer, it's a shame the directorial choices were so frivolous."
This guy continues the most horrible stereotype
John Nygro | Chicago, IL United States | 12/14/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"As I watched this video, I become more and more disgusted at the behavior of this creature known as Stefan Zucker. He is a petty, affected fop who kept asking each of these talented women about whether or not they used "chest voice." These are women who have sung the greatest roles in opera. Of all the possibilities of WHAT to ask them, he's on some personal mission to validate whatever freudian motivation he has for proving the validity of his own mother's voice (or lack of it). So, he's a terrible interviewer. I've heard better enunciated Italian by first year language students. He's a creature with a HUGE ego, who thinks he actually has something to say about the gifted women he has interviewed. The best part of the video is the reaction of each of the singers as they have that "deer in the headlights" look, as if to say, "Can this THING be real." He is an embarassment to all men who love opera and have to fight the stereotyping that comes with that. That being said, the entertainment value of the tape is high--this tape is an excercise in the display of an ego which most small screens cannot contain."
Opera Fanatic: Stefan And The Divas
Amazon Reviewer | 06/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""What are the various aspects of expressive singing?" is one of the questions Stefan Zucker puts to the divas. They discuss and demonstrate their interpretations, singing brief excerpts from Norma, Butterfly, Travatore, Traviata, Fanciulla, and Adriana (Olivero, age 86, performs the Monologo). The film includes footage from 40 years ago -- some of which is not otherwise on video.
Shot in 1996 on location in Italy (including La Scala) on a big budget, the film is illuminating, poignant, and brimming with personality.
Stefan Zucker: "Cerquetti, Adami Corradetti, Barbieri, Simionato, Pobbe and Olivero are all opposed to the use of chest resonance."
Carla Gavazzi: "Chest resonance is indispensable. They are ignorant!"
Giulietta Simionato: "If I had to do all over again, I wouldn't become a singer. I suffered too much."
Marcella Pobbe: "All I did was right. I didn't make mistakes."
Forgotten by many but worshipped by some: ten stars from when the prima donna was still a goddess. And Stefan Zucker, the "World's Highest Tenor," a New York intellectual just as brilliant as he is risque, full of eloquence and grand entrances. The quintessence of the omniscient hardcore opera fanatic, a figure from another age.
A film within a film: a framework, shot in morbid, Visconi-like colors, surrounds Stefan Zucker on his journey. The visits are filmed with two cameras: an electronic one documents the interview, the Super-16 films the situation: the interview as part of Stefan's journey. Nothing is off the record. An obsessive film: extreme people, extreme feelings, extreme opinions. An anti-world full of pathos, sometimes earthy and theatrical. Spectators must leave the film having experienced a world so consistent with itself that they cannot orient themselves afterwards: can it be true that our world really is so banal?
U. Yildiz | Davis, CA | 07/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Probably, Stefan Zucker is not the right person to do these interviews. First of all, his italian is not enough to structure an unambiguous question. I had the impression the divas are not taking him seriously because of this look and the manner he speaks. The scenes are perfect but the overall movie looks like "making of -or- behind scenes of opera fanatic". However, it is also very interesting to see how these women act behind scenes. It would be good to make a regular DVD with complete interviews and add this current DVD to the set as "making of". There are some scenes Stefan Zucker is clearly drunk and he tries to make a serious talk in italian. To sum up, the overall idea of making such a movie is excellent, but the implementation is very bad."