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NY opera tenor gets probation for child porn

June 21, 2018 by norman lebrecht

26 comments.


The tenor Zachary Stains has been placed on probation for 10 years in a plea bargain at Manhattan Supreme Court after images of child pornography were found on his Macbook.

Stains, 47, has enjoyed modest renown for a scene of male nudity in a Vivaldi opera.



Comments (26)

  1. boringfileclerk says:

    Did he lend his laptop to James Levine?

  2. Sixtus says:

    Thx for the video link. I’ve often seen a countertenor on his knees before a naked tenor, just not in an opera.

  3. Cynical Bystander says:

    And the relevance of the video to this case is?

    1. Sue says:

      Prurience.

  4. The View from America says:

    That Vivaldi opera is a jewel of a production.

  5. anon says:

    Why would Hercules be circumcised?

    I am outraged, they should’ve cast an uncircumcised tenor.

    1. Bill says:

      That would make for an interesting audition.

  6. El Grillo says:

    Brahm’s having cornered the market in porno, I’m surprised that tremendous.com isn’t in his domain, as well. Must everyone look for the romantic period flowing out of what the liliputians have to put up stairs to prevent everyone thyinking thyat a life saver role is what the prostitutes handed out, since he (Brahms) shttps://www.tremendous.com/tarted gambling at such an early age that they knew all about it and wouldn’t have been able to tell either.

    And who was the model? Iago?

    1. John Borstlap says:

      It may be advisable to keep one’s glasses clean and to type without gloves, so that one can remain aware on which website one is typing.

      1. barry guerrero says:

        You’re ahead of me, John. I have no idea what he’s talking about.

  7. John Borstlap says:

    An utterly ridiculous and distasteful video. Could not see it out.

    Some people should be hospitalized in a psychiatric institution, not only seriously disturbed singers but also brain-damaged opera producers.

    1. The View from America says:

      I guess the balls’ back in their court.

    2. DOC Martin says:

      JB you are not medically qualified to judge or decide on patient treatment and outcomes, even if the said party is clinical insane. Try to stick to something you have a vague understanding of, leave medicine to those who know.

      1. John Borstlap says:

        It should be obvious that I was not issuing a professional assessment. You overstate my erudition (thanks for the trust).

  8. M2N2K says:

    It is not fair to require a man to perform some singing porn on stage in front of hundreds if not thousands of strangers only to later prosecute him for doing a little bit of research in privacy of his own home.

    1. jaypee says:

      What’s “singing porn”? For you nudity = pornography?
      As much as I think this production is ridiculous, I think you should grow up… And learn what those big words really mean.

      1. M2N2K says:

        My comment deserves a reply such as yours which is why I am responding to you in detail and as honestly as I can.
        1. It is my exaggeration – intended but failing to be funny – of what I saw in the video.
        2. No, not even close.
        3. My growing-up days and years are well behind me.
        4. In my comments I never use words whose meanings I don’t know.
        To sum it all up: watching this video of the production that we both agree is ridiculous put me into a silly mood that resulted in me trying to make a kind of a joke that ended up being in a really poor taste, and I realize all that perfectly well.

  9. Stanley Y. says:

    He admits to saying that “he can’t trust himself to be alone with a child” yet nothing but jokester comments here? With the thousands of artists on social media tearfully pleading for the safety of children, there are a surprising lot of heads in the sand regarding Stains. Especially his opera singer friends who are ignoring this. Noted.

  10. Sharon says:

    The tragedy of child pornography is the kids that actually appear in it.

  11. anon says:

    Something is not right here, no one gets just probation for possession of child porn.

    Probably, prosecutors could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the persons were in fact under the legal age (how can you prove from a photo someone is n years old vs. n minus 1 day old? you can’t), and the defendant didn’t want to take the risk of a trial.

    1. Sharon says:

      Actually in the US if he was not involved in shooting it but just possessing it a person might just get probation for a first offense, especially if he says, “I am careful never to be alone around kids”.

      The issue with determining the age of the models (or actors) in child porn is not a trivial one. Because of digital technology, videos where there was no actual filming of children (or anyone else for that matter) can look very real.

      1. Sharon says:

        Addendum: 10 years probation is a long time for any offense. The idea is that a probation officer will monitor his activities for quite a while.

        Probation may affect his ability to travel or require him to return from foreign and even domestic engagements that are out of the city

        1. Sharon says:

          Correction:

          The terms of his probation may also affect Stains’ travel. If he is allowed to travel abroad for work or even travel domestically he will probably have to return to the New York City and his probation officer’s supervision very quickly.

          There may also be restrictions involving kids for ex with regard to teaching, being in productions that involve children, working with children’s choirs etc.

  12. simonelvladtepes says:

    It’s not just one scene, he is nude the entire opera. It is quite lovely and the only reason I got this DVD (on dynamic). I was hoping that the trend of full frontal male nudity would take hold in opera, thereby combining the pleasures of my 2 main preoccupations: porn and opera, but the time is not right yet and there aren’t many singers adequately equipped like this one. We need to groom more male singers in this direction, provided they got the…talent.

    1. M2N2K says:

      That was a truly sweet comment, whether your tongue was in your cheek or in some other exciting location.


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