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Opera Fanatic magazine in the News

“…a real find, an offbeat cross between scholarly tome and lurid supermarket tabloid, filled with rare and unconventional treasures.”

“Like it or not, approve of it or not, Opera Fanatic does make fascinating reading. And viewing. . . . the most interesting publication I’ve seen in a long time.”

“Giovanna wouldn’t come across for Pavarotti, even after he cooked spaghetti for her.”

“LaRouche is using the pitch issue to gain credibility and respectability.”

As a result of our efforts, Tebaldi disassociated herself from LaRouche

 

Mairi MacLean published a mammoth article about Opera Fanatic in The Edmonton Journal:

It arrived one morning in the mail, a glossy magazine from New York.

The launch of a new classical music magazine, I thought, as I glanced at Dame Joan Sutherland, who beamed placidly out at me from the front cover.

Then, in an incredibly snappy double take worthy of Groucho Marx, I was sucked into the lurid vortex of the magazine’s headlines. They were tantalizing and unusual, I had to admit. You would too, if you’d been there.

“Nude Centerfold!” blared one in red. “Tebaldi Trashes Sutherland, Sills and Cossotto,” hissed another. And at the bottom, incredibly, “For the First Time: Photos of Castrati.”

No stuffy, tiny-type esoterica of Gramophone or Early Music Quarterly here. But rather, as Monty Python and his friends would say, something completely different.It was my introduction to Opera Fanatic, a delightful and awesomely nutty magazine which has been described as a mix of Opera News, The National Enquirer and Rolling Stone.

I devoured the Sutherland issue, ordered two back issues and devoured them too. And I can report that for lovers of charming and eccentric curiosities, Opera Fanatic is a real find, an offbeat cross between scholarly tome and lurid supermarket tabloid, filled with rare and unconventional treasures.

Bizarre and bitchy, trashy and informative, OF features stories ranging from right-wing oddball Lyndon LaRouche’s weird campaign to standardize concert pitch to a profile of Metropolitan Opera soprano Aprile Millo, hyped as: “JFK—Millo’s Secret Dad?”

These share space with more conventional, almost academic pieces on vocal technique and great singers of the past. And the magazine’s photo captions are often hilarious and gossipy. . . .

But much of the magazine’s space is devoted to its readers, who, judging from their feedback in the form of letters and critical comments, are a colorful, disparate lot, united only through the bond of opera fanaticism.

It’s not surprising.

The founder, editor, principal writer and mastermind behind Opera Fanatic is likely the most fanatical of them all. He’s Stefan Zucker, holder of the Guinness Book of World Records title of “The World’s Highest Tenor.”

“Guinness reports it as the A above High C, but I have actually sung B-flat in performance,” reports Zucker, a pleasantly articulate and soft-edged voice on the phone from his New York apartment, Opera Fanatic’s headquarters.

A wearer of several professional hats, including singer, writer, broadcaster, producer and subject of the LP recording “Stefan Zucker: the World’s Highest Tenor, ” Zucker explains that he began Opera Fanatic for several burning reasons.

A freelance music critic who contributed to major magazines and newspapers, Zucker found he wanted freedom to produce articles which dealt with “taboo subjects. ” Then, when he began to host an opera program—also called “Opera Fanatic”—on New York’s Columbia University radio station, he quickly discovered he wasn’t the only opera fanatic on the planet.

“I understood that for some, opera is life’s principal joy,” says Zucker, whose radio show reaches some 56,000 fanatics in six states on the U.S. east coast. “They’re vastly knowledgeable and some have disc collections of 30,000 or 40,000 recordings. They know more than the critics,“ he continues.

Not only were those fanatics tough to stump when it came to the “Name the Voice” contests that Zucker regularly devises for his radio show (“No singer was too obscure for some of these people!”), but he also found that “They had a good deal to say about opera and its lore, and they needed a forum for multifarious views and debate. No other publication was meaty enough for them. ”

Thus Opera Fanatic, the magazine, was born. And now Zucker has fanatics up to his ears. “One lady called me five times today already; she’s a complete pest,” he confesses.

Opera fanatics can be found across North America, from tiniest hamlet to largest metropolis. More than 5,000 subscribe to OF, with single-copy sales estimated at just under 5,000.

“Our readership includes far-flung fanatics who have no access to many of the things those in major cities take for granted. And many fanatics feel isolated, feel that people misunderstand their love of opera. Perhaps their neighbors don’t like opera,” Zucker says.

Whether from Vancouver, North Dakota, New York City or the Isle of Man, OF readers are a vocal crew. Letters rage with passion for the art form, and the armchair critics obviously relish having a platform for sharing their fervently held opinions.

And they adore and gush about the gossipy tone of the mag. “It was a matter of survival,” Zucker explains of OF’s scandal sheet approach, “With the radio show I can get listeners to tune in for exposés and revelations, and they’ll stay put for archival recordings. ”

It’s the same with the magazine. Entice them with the juicy lowdown on Plácido, and they might end up reading about forgotten composer Saverio Mercadante. . . .

Zucker laments that taste is shaped by “casting and repertoire decisions ” made by too few administrators, that opera is “becoming more homogenized.”

“We live in the age of Barbie Doll opera—singers who move well and look good but express little,” he suggests. What gets lost in the process is the singer who doesn’t fit snugly into the system.

“We no longer accommodate the crazy singer, the petulant diva—they’re selected out,” declares Zucker, who is of the opinion that “Some of the most interesting performers are more than a little bit crazy—I’ve seen more interesting, flamboyant, volatile singers in church basements!” . . .

I asked Zucker why opera stimulates such fanatical responses. You don’t find jazz fans coming to fisticuffs over who’s a better guitarist, Joe Pass or Herb Ellis, for example.

“Catharsis,” is Zucker’s terse reply.

“Most people remain indifferent to or bored by opera unless it has made them weep or given them spinal chills,” he says. “Once that’s happened, one goes back for more. And many will endure hundreds of mediocre performances in the hope of re-experiencing that catharsis.”

Indeed, according to Zucker, those frustrated by their search for cathartic thrill can become “decadent” in their tastes. “This can lead them to give vent to witticisms, or it can lead to booing,” he cautions.

As for booing, it’s a fine operatic tradition, and one which will be the subject of an article (called “Booing: True Confessions”), scheduled to appear in the next issue of Opera Fanatic.

As well, there’ll be a long-awaited story on the late, great Maria Callas, and her notorious tape worm. “She is said to have swallowed one to lose weight….” Zucker trails off, mysteriously.

The magazine appears sporadically, but is well worth the wait. Enjoy! If you don’t enjoy, write—Zucker happily prints letters which blast and condemn the magazine.

(And in case you’re curious, the castrati article mentioned above, teasingly entitled “Did the Castrati Have Balls?” reveals the question marks surrounding the thousands of castrated males who dominated European singing centuries ago. Did they have libido, yes or no? And for you voyeurs, the centerfold in question proved to be an ancient photo of long-dead baritone Victor Maurel—“immortal creator of Iago and Falstaff”—whose private parts, sorry to say, remain discreetly covered, courtesy of an attractive fig leaf.)

Patrick Franklin published a substantial article on the magazine in the Monterey Herald:

One of the undisputed side benefits of this job is the occasional treasure that floats up in an ocean of mail. Well, “treasure” may not be the proper term for what washed in a few weeks ago, but it certainly merits the title of the most interesting publication I’ve seen in a long time.

Imagine, if you will, a combination of Opera News and National Enquirer, livened with a sprinkle of Rolling Stone. If you can do so, you’ve undoubtedly seen what I’m talking about for yourself.

It’s a publication called Opera Fanatic and, believe me, it lives up to its name. This is a magazine for people who really believe in opera, the real devotees who can hurl insults (and maybe a fist or two) at anyone who suggests that their idols have larynxes of clay.

The magazine plays to those hardy and highly vocal fans in the top gallery, and its very cover gives indication that you’re not about to leaf through another polite summation of what’s going on in the white-tie-and-tail set. “Nude Centerfold,” cries a banner across the corner; and sure enough, there’s an ancient print of baritone Victor Maurel, whose modest fig leaf barely escapes the staples. . . .

More typically, one of the “teaser” lines promises “Tebaldi Trashes Sutherland, Sills and Cossotto.” Now that’s what opera fans want to hear, I suspect: a diva getting down and dirty about her rivals. Of course, there’s more. “Bonisolli: a Tenor’s Tantrum” offers another juicy story. . . .

Zucker writes a decent piece on the forgotten composer Mercadante, as well as a surprising article on the oddball backing of right-winger Lyndon LaRouche by several operatic superstars. [In 1989, Tebaldi and Barbieri ran unsuccessfully for the European Parliament on the slate of LaRouche’s Patriots for Italy party; in November 1988, Cappuccilli’s endorsement of LaRouche was shown nationally on a LaRouche-for-President TV commercial; hundreds of singers back a bill LaRouche has had introduced in the Italian Senate to lower the tuning pitch.] . . . Zucker has supplied the only mention of the [LaRouche bill] I’ve seen in print, and very admirably goes on to discuss the history of tuning standards throughout the world. . . .

A good deal of space is devoted to readers’ letters, surveys, transcripts of radio shows, and a few reviews. Whatever value the views expressed may have is very much open to debate; but the presence of real passion is impossible to question. . . . (“Boos, Hisses and Bravos”)

Robert Everett-Green published a massive article on Zucker and the magazine in the Toronto Globe and Mail:

Zucker’s magazine, Opera Fanatic, is a strange hybrid of the scholarly journal and the supermarket tabloid. In its pages can be found sober, well researched articles, as well as lurid exposés. . . .

The latest issue of Opera Fanatic contains an article that neatly straddles the scholarly and the sensational. [Everett-Green went on to summarize Opera Fanatic’s articles on LaRouche, many opera superstars and the tuning pitch.]

But the most interesting thing about any issue of Opera Fanatic may be the way the magazine acts as a kind of Democracy Wall for a feverish operatic subculture. At least half the magazine consists of letters from readers, who let fly with critiques of singers that are often more sharply worded than the most hostile newspaper review.

Typically, these fans view the opera world in terms of the blessed and the damned, judged according to the standard set by some favorite singer (usually dead or retired). They know of no more sacred duty than to defend their idols, and to vilify all false gods. They have little or nothing to say about conductors or stage directors, except when those have been judged to have been in the way of a singer—or to have slept with one. For Zucker’s readers, opera is nothing but singing and the adoration of singing. . . (“Magazine Fans the Flames of Opera-Lovers’ Passions”)

Barbara Zuck (no relation) published a lengthy article about Opera Fanatic in The Columbus Dispatch:

One has to admire Zucker’s guts. He lives in a city dominated by the Met’s influence, the influence of its board and the influence of Met Artistic Director James Levine. Not only has Zucker dared to investigate and criticize aspects of the Met’s practices and its roster of stars, he has dared to make people wince.

In the most recent issue of Opera Fanatic, Zucker ran the results of a poll of listeners to his radio show. Titled “The Met’s Approval Rating,” the poll gave the Met only a 32.58 percent endorsement.

Other stories have taken well-aimed shots at opera’s greats: [Zuck cited the Tucker, Domingo, Bonisolli, Tebaldi, Millo and LaRouche revelations, giving particulars].

Like it or not, approve of it or not, Opera Fanatic does make fascinating reading. And viewing. . . .

There can be no question that Zucker has brought a different approach to covering opera and its personalities. Where else can you get dirt like this on such a high-minded subject?

“Opera Fanatic is hilarious,” declared Wes Blomster in the Boulder Sunday Camera, adding “It might be the Mad Magazine of opera. . . . Readers fill several pages with outpourings of the heart about singers, about the Met and about the magazine itself.” Blomster quoted from listener letters (“Corelli sang like a pizza with everything on it”), but also said, “issue three contains meaty comment on the current effort to lower standard pitch. . . .” He concluded, “The magazine is a fine source of information about rare videos. . . .” (“New Magazine Combines Wit and Wisdom”) In a Daily Camera survey of operas on videotape, Blomster wrote, “Opera Fanatic, that delightful new journal that lets everything in the world of opera hang out, also operates a mail order service. Their catalog specializes in video releases of many fine old German musical films starring Richard Tauber, Joseph Schmidt and Erna Berger—to say nothing of a Salome with Leonie Rysanek in the title role.” (“Classical Music Video Selection Wide-Ranging”)

In the conclusion of an interview of Pavarotti in The Pittsburgh Press, Carl Apone wrote:

These days, there is a new, slick magazine on the market called Opera Fanatic, which features lots of gossip. In the most recent edition, a centerfold features singer Victor Maurel—nude except for a fig leaf. Mention of it amused Pavarotti.

“I do not see Pavarotti appearing there in the centerfold,” he said with a chuckle. “I give audiences the best I can with my voice, but not my body.” (“He’s 85 Pounds Lighter, but Not Centerfold Material Yet”)

Carreras vs. Domingo vs. Pavarotti

Jeannie Williams wrote in her column in USA Today:

Domingo may be working hard, but he’s slipping in one poll. Opera Fanatic, a New York magazine/radio program, has had tenor fans calling for their favorites, and so far Pavarotti is in the lead, with José Carreras second and Domingo third. In a similar poll seven years ago, Domingo led and Pavarotti trailed.

Publishing on Pavarotti in the Montreal Gazette, Arthur Kaptainis noted, “Stefan Zucker says most callers to his radio show are more than satisfied with the current version of the primo tenore. There is even a hard statistical case for awarding Pavarotti that controversial title,” Kaptainis stated, giving details about our polls. (“The PAV is Back”)

In La Follia di New York, Cathy Wall devoted two pages to reporting the results of our polls. Our earlier polls were reported by Marylis Sevilla-Gonzaga in Opera News, by Michael Redmond in the Newark Star-Ledger, by Iris Bass in Sightlines, by Harold C. Schonberg in The New York Times and, by Zucker, in New York magazine and The New York Times Magazine. Detailed results for a number of polls are in Opera Fanatic.

Millogate
Arthur Kaptainis declared in the Montreal Gazette, “Opera Fanatic packs more courageous and outrageous subjectivity into one issue than some journals hazard in a lifetime. . . . About half the magazine consists of astonishingly violent back-and-forth salvos on the virtues and vices of this or that diva or leading man. . . .” Kaptainis added that the question, “JFK—Millo’s Secret Dad?” will “take some time to reach the panelists of Texaco Opera Quiz.” He went on to discuss the article’s revelations, terming them “not uninteresting.” But he continued, “The alternatively gossipy and erudite articles ultimately seem secondary to the white-hot letters column.” Kaptainis quoted copiously from the letters and listener reviews. He obviously loved the magazine.

The New York Times Magazine ran an effusive article about Millo by one Lisa Schwarzbaum that mentioned that Opera Fanatic told her family’s saga with “surprising viciousness.” [Not so. I told the story by quoting court records, restricting my own writing to reportage about interstitial events. Are facts vicious?—SZ]

In a lengthy article about the magazine, Michael Redmond, music editor of the Newark Star-Ledger, championed Millo’s singing: “Just how high will this star rise in the operatic firmament? . . . the sky’s the limit.” He stated, “Above and beyond the sometimes embarrassing facts of family history, Opera Fanatic has raised the issues of what, if anything, an artist owes to the public in the way of biographical disclosure, and what, if anything, the press should do when questions are raised about an artist’s veracity in on-the-record interviews.” Redmond felt the magazine delves deep. (“Soprano’s Family Ties Stir Furor Among Opera Fans”)

In an article about Millo in The Washington Post, Joe McLellan noted that Opera Fanatic “lavishly documented” her family’s “problems.” (“Aprile Millo, the Bashful Strategist”)

The New York Post printed a partially accurate account of the Millogate story and described OF as an “opera fanzine.” The nerve! The story ran as the lead on Page Six, reserved for juicy scandals. (“Tangled Plot of Met Star’s Parents”)

Including a full-page photo of Zucker, a Condé Nast glossy from Britain, Tatler, referred to Opera Fanatic as “the magazine that prints the angst behind the arias” and declared, “Zucker’s journalistic nose twitches in pursuit of stories from the wildest shores of operatic scandals.” Calling the radio show “a forum for loony opera-buffs,” Robert Turnbull touched on the coverage of Caballé’s tummy ache, Cotrubas’ walkout, Domingo’s love life and the LaRouche-opera connection and gave an inaccurate account of the Millogate story and of a radio interview of Virginia Zeani. (“Singing on the Brain: Operamaniacs”)

Richard S. Ginell, in the Los Angeles Daily News, began, “Opera nuts who aren’t content with the sleaze that is sometimes depicted on stage can take heart: A new publication is serving their needs.” He limned the Millogate story and said of “The Listening Public Reviews,” “These catty listeners aren’t shy, either,” quoting an extended exchange about Te Kanawa. Ginell remarked, “I savor Opera Fanatic.” (“New Opera Magazine Dishes Up the Dirt for Fans”)
Samples from Opera Fanatic

LaRouche and the Tuning Pitch
In an article in The Washington Post on the LaRouche-sponsored bill to lower the tuning pitch, Joe McLellan wrote, “Zucker has taken a firm lead in opposing the legislation” and went on to quote Opera Fanatic at length, calling OF’s articles “an exhaustive study of pitch and LaRouche.” (“Lyndon LaRouche’s Pitch Battle”)

Bernard Holland wrote an article in The New York Times about the tuning pitch, based on the LaRouche position (“Singers Join in a Lament about Rising Pitch”). The Times published Zucker’s reply, mentioning this magazine (“Illegal Pitch?”). Zucker contended that “[Holland’s] claim that [Verdi] legislated a tuning pitch is pure invention.” Zucker also maintained that “during most of Verdi’s life, tuning pitches were higher than today’s—as high as A 457. The mean tuning pitch was in the neighborhood of A 450, which led the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome to recommend it as the standard.”

Zucker published an article on LaRouche and the tuning pitch in the Chelsea Clinton News and The Westsider, mentioning Opera Fanatic. Discussing the involvement of Pavarotti, Sutherland, Fischer-Dieskau, Caballé, Domingo, Horne, Freni, Kraus, Tebaldi, Di Stefano, Nilsson, Bergonzi, Bumbry, Milnes, Ameling, Mitchell, Cossotto, Verrett, Bechi, Bacquier, Cappuccilli, Sayão, Lorengar, Schreier, Kabaivanska, Cruz-Romo, R. Raimondi, Ludwig, Moll, E. Moser, L. Quilico, Rothenberger, Robbins-Landon, Kubelik, Chailly, Bonynge, Gavazzeni and hundreds of others in the opera world with LaRouche, Zucker contended:

Most of the performers have no idea of the real history of the tuning pitch. They believe that until recently it was a half-tone down. However, 440 cps, in general use since early in this century, is lower than the mean tuning pitches in the 19th century, when the tuning pitch ranged as high as A 457—more than a quarter-step above 440. The performers believe A 432 to be a half-step below 440; in actuality it is less than a third of a half-step below. Tuning pitches in the mid-440s, used by some European orchestras, are not wildly higher than 440—contrary to what some of the performers suppose. A 445, for example, is only about one fifth of a half-step higher. Never in history have more people tuned to the same pitch than today. . . .

The LaRouche bill in no way veils its threat to artistic freedom. According to Article 2 of the bill, state-subsidized organizations must adopt A 432. According to Article 5, “The utilization of instruments of reference”—tuning forks and tone generators—”not conforming to A 432 is punishable by the confiscation of the non-standard object and with a fine for each specimen of $73-$730.” The LaRouche literature makes no bones about this, and the petition’s celebrity signers are all presumably aware of it. (“Lyndon LaRouche and the Golden Mean”)

Francis Church focused on LaRouche and pitch in The Richmond News Leader, quoting Opera Fanatic extensively. He declared:

Zucker doesn’t merely raise his voice in protest. He supports his arguments with facts. . . . He feels LaRouche is using the issue to get more credibility and respectability. . ..

Church concluded with Zucker saying, “If LaRouche has his way, pitch police might well tramp down the aisles of La Scala to arrest dissenters tuning to A 440.” (“Shall Lyndon LaRouche Call the Tuning Pitch?”)

In consequence of Opera Fanatic’s criticism of LaRouche’s bill regarding the tuning pitch, he and Zucker were interviewed by Lars Hoel on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition.” Speaking from jail, LaRouche tried to justify his stand on pitch, which Zucker attacked, as in Issue 3. Hoel observed that Zucker “poked holes in the historical and scientific rationales behind LaRouche’s position.” During the course of the broadcast, one of the signatories of LaRouche’s pitch petition, soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson, avowed:

There’s nothing in the world that I can do to push my voice any louder, through E and F in the bottom of the voice; I will always have that. And when the pitch is slightly higher, it makes that even more difficult. I’ve sung Beethoven recitals with fortepiano, and things like “Ah, perfido!” are very, very tough on the voice—but when it was put in the proper pitch, I was in heaven! The piece just fit my voice perfectly.

On the same broadcast, Tim Page of Newsday stated:

If the LaRouchians and Stefan Zucker want to fight about it, I think that’s fine. But I don’t think the music world is up in arms. I remember the first time I ever encountered the LaRouchies: They were outside Alice Tully Hall, and they had some petition to ban Vivaldi from the concert halls. They didn’t think he had the “fundamental emotion”— whatever that means. They also recently disrupted a Chicago Symphony performance of “Brangle,” a work by Jacob Druckman, and passed out pamphlets saying “Leonard Slatkin Serves Satan” (Slatkin was the conductor there). This is not normal behavior.

Hoel noted, “Music critic Tim Page thinks all this energy haggling over pitch might be put to a better use, such as including more 20th-century music in the standard concert repertoire.”

[Because of the program’s format, I didn’t get a chance to reply. Bryn-Julson apparently doesn’t know that when ”Ah, perfido!” was composed, in 1796, the tuning pitch was 422-424 cycles per second. LaRouche’s bill specifies that tuning pitches varying from 432 by more than 0.5 hertz are illegal. Were the Italian Senate to enact the bill, in accordance with one of its provisions, she would be fined as much as $730 for using a tuning pitch as low as 424. 432 is too high for most music written prior to 1810 and too low for nearly everything later. (See Issue 3, pp. 39-52.) What Page fails to realize is that, on account of his pitch bill, LaRouche is being taken seriously: The Newark Star-Ledger, The New Yorker and the New York Post all more or less supported it on the grounds that since Pavarotti et al. wanted it, it had to be good. For the same reason, the European press has been very favorable to LaRouche. What could make him more credible than having his bill debated in the Italian Senate? On the subject of modern music, should LaRouche come to power he would prohibit the performance of music by Wagner and anyone since.—SZ]

Opera Fanatic’s coverage of the LaRouche-celebrity-singer connection occasioned three articles in the New York Post, one by Sharon Churcher (“Stars Favor One LaRouche Pitch”) and two by Clare McHugh (“LaRouche Backers Hit Sour Note” and “Lyndon’s Latest Pitch”). McHugh reported complaints by non-celebrity signatories of LaRouche’s pitch petition that they were being bombarded by the LaRouchites with propaganda and were being hit up for donations.

One of Domingo’s Mistresses

Richard Johnson wrote in Page Six of the New York Post:

The current issue of Opera Fanatic magazine says Giovanna Montgomery has been Domingo’s mistress.

“Her emanations make her sexually magnetic,” says the caption on a photograph of the attractive brunette. “When she enters a room, men suck in their tummies.”

The magazine’s editor, Stefan Zucker, revealed the alleged romance in his review of Domingo’s autobiography, Plácido Domingo, My First Forty Years (Knopf), which is dedicated to the tenor’s wife, Marta.

The book, according to Zucker, does deal with extracurricular sex in that it “recalls some youthful visits to Mexican whorehouses.” But there is no mention at all of Giovanna Montgomery, “who’s been having an affair with Domingo off and on since they met in Verona in ’69.”

When reached in Rome by PAGE SIX’s Pat Wadsley, Giovanna denied any relationship with Domingo. “It’s ridiculous. Who’s seen me with him?” she screamed. “Where have they seen me? It’s a bunch of lies.”

Giovanna’s ex-husband Patrick Montgomery, who was divorced from her 10 years ago, conceded that she had known Domingo for a long time and said the three of them have had dinner together: “But they weren’t having an affair during our marriage.”

Nevertheless, some opera buffs say the romance is for real. “Plácido was probably the first man in Giovanna’s life,” said Nancy Davis, a former concert violinist and confidant of Giovanna’s. “He went after her when she was 17 years old. Giovanna has always been obsessed with musicians and singers.”

And Bob Connolly, a photographer who’s documented the opera scene over the years, said: “I’ve seen Giovanna and Plácido together on countless occasions. Once they had a wild argument in front of me. And always, there is passion in his eyes.”

Domingo’s spokeswoman Mildred Grant was shocked: ”Of course women try to approach him. We laugh about it all the time. But his wife is always by his side. I’ve been with him four years, and in all this time I’ve never heard this woman’s name.”

But Zucker, who once interviewed Giovanna on WKCR radio, seems to know a lot about the woman. He tells how Luciano Pavarotti, the other great tenor of this era, tried to make music with her. “She wouldn’t come across for Pavarotti,” said Zucker, “even after he cooked spaghetti for her.” (“Things Aren’t Placid for Domingo”)

The Domingo-Montgomery story was also picked up by WNET-TV, the London newspaper Today and the Italian newsweekly Panorama.

 

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