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Opera Events - The Mario Lanza Show

10th Dec 2010

We are delighted to recommend a new show which charts the life of sensational 1950’s American tenor and Hollywood movie star, Mario Lanza.
Arturo Toscanini described him as "the greatest voice of the 20th century".
Others referred to him as the "new Caruso”, after his success in Hollywood films. MGM hoped that he would become the movie studio's "singing Clark Gable” due to his good looks and powerful voice.

Mario Lanza was born on 31 January 1921 in Philadelphia. His mother, Maria, had a beautiful soprano voice and dreamed of a singing career, but her father decided that the stage was no place for a married woman.

Lanza had a reputation for being “rebellious, tough, and ambitious”. He suffered from addictions to overeating and alcohol which ultimately had a devastating effect on his health and relationships. It was said that "his smile, which was as big as his voice, was matched with the habits of a tiger cub, impossible to housebreak" and that he was the "last of the great romantic performers".

He died, in untimely fashion, from a heart attack at the age of 38 and at the time of his death in 1959 he was still “the most famous tenor in the world”. Lanza has influenced many future operatic tenors including Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.

                                                  Play Image     
11 DEC - 22 JAN
King’s Head Theatre
115 Upper Street
London N1 1QN
 08444 771 000

Mario Lanza comes alive to set the record straight in 80 minutes, weaving together personal reminiscence and song. Lanza takes to the stage in a hospital room in Rome. Inspired by a scratchy Caruso record, his life flashes before him. In the room with him is his nurse, who comes to embody all the women in his life and provide on-stage piano accompaniment when he lauches into songs and arias as an integral part of the drama. The music is all that which has been made famous by Lanza, many are operatic hits, they include ‘Vesti la Giubba’, ‘Granada’,’ E Lucevan Le Stelle’, ‘Without a Song’ and the song most associated with him; ‘Be My Love’.