Carmen | Franco Corelli, Giulietta Simionato

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Opera Fanatic Corelli Carmen with Simionato

(1959). Corelli, Simionato, Freni, Guelfi; Dervaux. Sung in Italian. 20-p. booklet with Simionato interview in which she compares Björling, Di Stefano, Del Monaco and Corelli

Robert Levine, reviewing in Classics Today

Corelli with Giulietta Simionato, 1963

Corelli with Giulietta Simionato, 1963

Corelli with Giulietta Simionato, 1963

Franco Corelli, Reflections on a Career and a Life: an Interview with Stefan Zucker

Portions reprinted from Opera News by permission

by Stefan Zucker

“I don’t miss the pressures, but I do miss the joy of singing and performing.” —Franco Corelli

IN RECENT YEARS, the legendary tenor Franco Corelli participated in a series of interviews with Stefan Zucker, host of “Opera Fanatic,” the popular (now defunct) late-night program on New York radio station WKCR-FM. They also collaborated on a theater series, An Evening with Franco Corelli and Stefan Zucker. The following comments are excerpted from these programs. (For information about the 7 Corelli interview tapes, see our full catalog).

Stefan Zucker: It’s said that before you began your career you lost your high notes and became a baritone. What happened?

Franco Corelli: I was young and didn’t know how to use my voice. My vocal cords were unable to sustain the pressure to which I subjected them. Since I was very athletic, with a strong diaphragm, my voice’s birthright was great volume of breath and breath span. After three months of lessons with soprano Rita Pavoni, I lost my voice, and then for a period of three or four months I studied as a baritone.
     When I was a boy, Tito Gobbi gave a concert in my hometown, Ancona. He said that singing is like sport. In sport if you get tired, you still keep on pushing, and without proper training I drove my voice. After a page of music, my voice would get lower. I thought that to get through an entire aria, I’d have to make the switch to baritone. I did have a big enough middle register to enable me to pass for one.

Franco Corelli Photos