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Valerie Dore is the stage name of musician Monica Stucchi (born May 28, 1963 in Milan). Several hit singles and one album were released under the Valerie Dore name between 1984 and 1986, with studio vocals first provided by Novecento's Dora Nicolosi (née Carofiglio), then Simona Zanini (of Radiorama, Doctor's Cat, and Raggio di Luna/Moon Ray). Thereafter, Stucchi herself voiced her recordings and public appearances.
Stucchi lives in Milan, Italy. Prior to her career in music, she worked as graphic designer and was a singer in The Watermelon String Band a bluegrass band led by Bruno Guaitamacchi that played in Milan pubs. She was discovered at age 20 by the Italo producer Roberto Gasparini.
The Valerie Dore project launched in 1984 with "The Night," an Italo disco ballad written by Barbara Lynn Addoms with the Nicolosi brothers from Novecento. With the music produced by Gasparini and Lino Nicolosi, and vocals by Dora Carofiglio, the song was completed in the studio and released as a single. Stucchi provided the public face of the singer, both in print and in "live" lip-synched performances.
Slight variations on this professional arrangement continued for the next two singles, "Get Closer" and "It's So Easy", released in 1984 and 1985, respectively. During this time, the Italian music news publication TV Sorrisi e Canzoni ("Smiles and Songs") awarded Dore the prize of best new artist of year. She also "won" second place at the Festivalbar music showcase, which was billed as a singing contest, although all the performances were lip-synched. Dore also performed on the TV show "Azzurro" and on German TV.
Later in 1985, Dore and her collaborators parted ways due to personal and artistic differences. In an old castle near Milan, in Carimate, Dore began work with new production team on what would become The Legend LP. Marco Tansini provided the music, and Simona Zanini provided lyrics and both lead and background vocals. Stucchi also recorded lead vocals, but they were either not used or were heavily overdubbed by Zanini's re-recorded versions. The album's first single, "Lancelot," was a hit in Italy, and the second single, "King Arthur" was a moderate hit outside of Italy and was performed on the Italian music program Discoring. The songs "The Magic Rain" and "Bow and Arrow" were radio hits as well.
In 1986, Dore was voted the 6th best female artist in Italy by readers of TV Sorrisi e Canzoni. The following year, she left her producer Roberto Gasparini and then moved to London.
In 1988, in London, Valerie Dore recorded the single "Wrong Direction" in collaboration with her future husband, Mauro Zavagli, for their new disco label "MZM PRODUCTION" (MauroZavagliMonica Production). She worked in a studio with German producer Ralph Ruppert and collaborated with musicians Nick Beegs from Kajagoogoo and Marck Price. The underpromoted record only hit #23 in the Italian charts.
Between 1990 and 1991, Dore and husband were in Madagascar where they began a casual collaboration with a local group, an aspiration that Dore long had. She wanted to record a new LP in a Caribbean style, but after some contact with international labels companies, she came to believe that such a record would be too different from her previous work and the rest of Italian dance music.
In 1992, the ZYX label released Dore's The Best of Valerie Dore with bonus tracks: the extended versions of her dance hits "The Night", "Get Closer" and "It's So Easy," plus two remixes of "The Night" done by DJ Oliver Momm. In 1995, Mauro and Dore were living in Arezzo, Toscana, where they sold golden antique iron beds which Dore restored by hand. At the same time, they had a gallery store in Milan.
In November 2006, Valerie Dore returned in an Italian compilation with a new song "How do I get to Mars?". She also created a personal web site www.valeriedore.it (Italian).
In 2007, she promoted non-smoking, on "Radio 24". She had been smoking for 15 years, and it was affecting her voice and shortening her career. She wanted to inspire others to stop smoking as well, and, through radio and in an internet forum, she encouraged abstinence.
In 2007, she recorded two singles in order to stay with her father during his illness. She has composed new songs in her home studio.
She is preparing new publications.
- 1984 - "The Night" [#14 Italy, #8 Switzerland, #5 Germany, #23 France, #29 Austria]
- 1984 - "Get Closer" [#12 Germany, #12 Italy, #11 Switzerland, #33 France]
- 1985 - "It's So Easy" [#13 Italy, #10 Switzerland, #51 Germany]
- 1985 - "It's So Easy To Get Closer In The Night Megamix"
- 1985 - "Bow & Arrow"
- 1985 - "The Wizard"
- 1985 - "The Magic Rain"
- 1985 - "Guinnevere"
- 1985 - "King Arthur" [#26 Italy, #24 Switzerland]
- 1986 - "Lancelot" [#9 Italy, #36 Germany, #10 Switzerland]
- 1986 - "King Arthur"/"The Battle"
- 1987 - "The Sword Inside The Heart"
- 1987 - "The End Of The Story"
- 1988 - "On The Run"
- 1988 - "Wrong Direction" [#23 Italy]
- 2006 - "How do I get to Mars?"
- 1986 - The Legend
- 1992 - The Best Of
- Vujkovic, Zeljko (June 2010). "Interview with Simona Zanini".
- Monica Stucchi alias Valerie Dore – official site