Interview on: "Opera Fanatic"

All you can produce is poetry - everything else is inaccurate

Jan Schmidt-Garre in conversation with Rebecca Fajnschnitt, December 1999

Your "Belcanto" series dealt with the tenors of the age of shellac. In "Opera Fanatic", the subject is Italian singers of the 1950s - is the new film a continuation of the series on the tenors?

It is more a satirical postlude to the series. After dealing with the aesthetic phenomenon of bel canto in a serious, almost scientific way, as I consider it represents the central point of singing, I felt a desire to concern myself with the periphery, with the coarse and grubby aspects of singing and opera. And, after all those short portraits, I felt like returning to the cinematic form of the documentary film.

In contrast to the series, in this case there is an interlocutor between the singers and the audience, who is unmistakably asking his own, highly personal questions: Stefan Zucker. Is he the opera fan, the "Opera Fanatic"?

Perhaps not the actual "Opera Fanatic" as such to whom the film is addressed, but in any case an extreme example of this type.