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Various Opera Fanatic [Import]

Stefan Zucker , Iris Adami Corradetti , Jan Schmidt-Garre    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 29.99
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Live the Vulgarians!! Nov. 27 2003
By KenJaco
Format:VHS Tape
This beautifully filmed video offers a nostalgic glimpse into an era where strong feelings and personality were expressed on stage and restraint was practiced in life. This was the world these divas lived in. Things are reversed now and life has become the drama and the stage is for purity.
This video is not about divas but about the state of opera today in comparison to how it was, and how we can get back a sense of drama that was once more important than a flawless vocal technique.
Well, I have never heard a performace to match my great recordings, which I so adore. Like Stephan, I can't wait for sopranos, tenors, and the others to grow "hair under the arms" and bring back PIZZAZZ to our stages. The time will come and you'll see me in the house!!
Enjoy the video!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great diva footage, but interviewer is too self-indulgent. Sept. 28 1999
By A Minnesota Jew - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
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.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This guy continues the most horrible stereotype Dec 13 2001
By John Nygro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
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.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Zucker is an embarassment April 29 2006
By Colin Harrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
This film could have been a real treasure - had the interviewer been someone other than the intensely dislikable and (as an interviewer) utterly incompetent Stefan Zucker. The opportunity to interview these great divas was a rare one and, in most cases, Zucker just blew it, especially with Marcella Pobb?. Zucker asks the dumbest questions - like, "What was the highest note you ever sang?" He has some bizarre obsession with chest voice and asks most of the divas if they used it. Pobb? quite rightly throws him out of her apartment after he is foolish and impertinent enough to ask why she left the Met. (There was some unhappy love affair and obviously she wasn't going to discuss that, so why ask?)

Fedora Barbieri camps it up for the camera in an embarassing manner, making a fool of herself and Zucker at the same time. Zucker asks her a question about having sex with women in her dressing room before going on stage. But Barbieri is too thrilled with all the attention to slap him and chuck him out like Pobb? did. One wonders who has the bigger ego and who is more excited to be on camera.

The entire enterprise is an ego trip for Zucker. The title, "Stefan and the Divas," is misleading; this is mostly about Stefan, and a more unappealing subject it is difficult to imagine.

Still, there are wonderful moments with Anita Cerquetti, Giulietta Simionato, Leyla Gencer and Carla Gavazzi, when Zucker shuts up and we get a glimpse of these great singers. The segment with the ancient Gina Cigna is a disappointment just because she is so old and feeble and can hardly string two words together. One of the best moments is when Zucker tells Gencer that Barbieri and Simionato deny ever using chest voice. She looks incredulous, rolls her eyes and asks, "Questo di LORO?" ("This from THEM?") For these, and for the clips of the great Magda Olivero, the video is worth having - if you can stomach Zucker's prissy falsetto, foolish posturing, dumb questions, and irritating manner. Like Pobb?, one wants to chuck him out.

What a waste.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Who let this person be filmed?? Sept. 2 2010
By Gianluca Del Ponte - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
Being true blue opera lover, this was a huge disappointment. This Stefan Zucker is a clueless buffoon, totally unable to conduct a meaningless interview. The entire thing looks like an amateurish farce. I am surprised that all the singers didn't react like Pobbe and threw him out. Just when you think that finally something good and interesting is coming you hear his most irritating voice (+ his most irritating Italian) asking something ludicrous, and that's it. Embarrassing for him, disappointing for opera lovers.
He also keeps bringing up his mother which has no place in this documentary (but in his shrink's office).
Terrible. One can see lots of good footage of those divas on YouTube, stay away from this. Really.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't mind the peanut-gallery. This film delivers the goods Oct. 19 2012
By Dabí Sánchez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
As perhaps you can tell from nearly all the reviewers' comments, this film has something raw and even unintelligible about it. The unintelligible part is only this: the alchemy that lets Mr. Zucker obtain the substance he finds. Who cares how he gets it? But get it he does. Mr. Zucker goes at these aging ladies with a simple and essential inquiry: By what means did the opera-singers of yore put into their work an emotional content that's largely missing today? And then, presto, you see the content. The experience is immediate, undeniable, overwhelming and finally heartwarming. By comparison, I found the film 'Tosca's Kiss'--which enthralled me when it came out--just a little too neat and trim. Don't worry about what most of the other reviewers here are saying. You can feel bad for them. They missed the show. This DVD is a little piece of magic.
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