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44612
Derek Mannering
09-02-2014
06:04 PM ET (US)
I'm just now catching up on some of the posts after an extended trip abroad. I was sorry to hear of Licia Albanese's passing, very sad coming so soon after that of dear Terry Robinson. Licia was as fine a lady as she was a singer and you can find her magnificent recording with Lanza on the "Opera Arias and Duets" collection, the only CD I'm aware of that features the complete duet.

I want to thank David Weaver for posting Eric Myers' brilliant review in OPERA NEWS of the latest Lanza CD, "The Toast of Hollywood." It's one of the very best critiques of a Lanza compilation that I have ever read and soundly gives the lie to the notion that Mario is treated badly by the critics. Myers clearly loved the selection (there's a lot to love!) but it was the way he "got" Lanza that really hit home: "No matter how many times you've heard these recordings, they still hit with a knockout punch of vocal freshness, pellucid diction and the trademark refulgence Lanza seemed to bring to every note he ever sang. Few classical singers have conveyed such a sense of the sheer joy of singing, unfettered by any kind of stuffiness or concert-hall pretension."

Amen to that! And how refreshing to see the often-maligned Coke Show recordings referred to as 'treasures', which of course is what so many of them are.

As discussed on the forum in June, I will run a new all-opera Lanza CD proposal by Sony for their thoughts. Keep in mind that if they decide to green light it (and I'm guessing 2015 would be the earliest date), you're likely to already own all the selections. The tracks would be drawn from three sources: Lanza's operatic recordings for RCA (1949-1950 – yes, he never recorded an aria or duet for them after 1950); Coke Show material, and the movie soundtracks "Serenade" and "For the First Time". Anyone looking for the addition of Hollywood Bowl or earlier concert material will be out of luck, as Sony has no rights to those recordings. And Lindsay Perigo and Bill Ronayne are quite correct in stating that no one compilation will please everyone. How could it?

History will always judge Mario on the career he ultimately chose for himself: that of movie star, recording artist and occasional concert performer. The rest falls squarely in the coulda-woulda-shoulda department and who has time for that these days.
Edited 09-02-2014 06:06 PM
44611
Dan Lawlor
09-02-2014
04:08 PM ET (US)
I inadvertently thought that Ann Blyth was in "The Vagabond King" with Oreste, but on checking the net, found that that was Kathryn Grayson...but, I did find out that Ann had a back problem after "Mildred Pierce" which restricted her work for a time...Not her first pik after that but after a few movies she was portrayed as a mermaid?? 'Mr Peabody and the Mermaid' with Wm Powell...lovely film...
Edited 09-02-2014 04:15 PM
44610
Stephen of Las Vegas
09-02-2014
01:11 PM ET (US)
A CD of many of Ann Blyth's songs, including duets with Lanza, "Deep in my Heart" was published a few years ago. It's generally only available at nearly full price. I tried to include a link to Amazon's page for it, but the system isn't recognizing the codes I am typing in to get the link included.
44609
David Weaver
09-02-2014
12:57 PM ET (US)
Fred is right. Morgan was a torch singer, a mezzo. Blyth has a lyric soprano voice, and as such it wasn't suited for songs like "Why Was I Born," "More Than You Know," and "Bill" that Morgan had made famous. Grant had a low, belting voice. She was also a popular recording star at the time the movie was made, so that might have also been a factor.

By the way, Grant's huge 1956 hit, "The Wayward Wind," was arranged and conducted by Buddy Bregman, whose brother Bobby is married to Mario's daughter Ellisa.
44608
Fred Day
09-02-2014
12:35 PM ET (US)
Dan: Probably because Grant's voice was closer to Morgan's voice than was Blyth's voice. Ciao.
44607
Diane Cox
09-02-2014
12:03 PM ET (US)
Ronald - you are so right, Dennis Day's brother. I must have done one of those things where your mind supplies the word - read Day and the first letter D and thought it was Doris Day. Sorry all.
44606
Ronald Sarbo
09-02-2014
11:56 AM ET (US)
Ann Blyth's husband was Dennis Day's brother.
44605
Diane Cox
09-02-2014
11:33 AM ET (US)
Dan: I searched for a few minutes but could find no reason for using Grant's voice instead of Ann Blyth's. Perhaps it was because of the changes in movies at that time - Grant had a more pop voice. That was Blyth's last film, although she did a little tv, she stayed home with hubby and children. She was married to James McNulty, Doris Day's brother.
44604
Dan Lawlor
09-02-2014
10:34 AM ET (US)
Fred: Ann Blyth's voice was not used in "The Helen Morgan Story" why? I don't know? They used Gogi Grant's instead?
Edited 09-02-2014 10:41 AM
44603
Fred Day
09-02-2014
10:25 AM ET (US)
Yes, Elizabeth Doubleday is the soprano on the RCA LP of the Student Prince soundtrack. Ann Blyth sang in the film, but due to contract limitations, her voice could not be used on the RCA LP of the soundtrack. Ciao.
44602
Ed
09-02-2014
09:17 AM ET (US)
Dan, As I said I never saw the movie for my own reasons but if it was Ann I don't know you could be right. I am pretty sure it was someone else on the LP and not Ann. Come to think of it no-one ever discusses the LP Desert Song neither
44601
Dan Lawlor
09-02-2014
08:54 AM ET (US)
Ed: From what I understand, Ann Blyth sang herself in those glorious duets in 'Student Prince'...she has a lovely voice and it was featured in several movies: Kismet, Rose Marie, etc
Edited 09-02-2014 09:00 AM
44600
Ed
09-02-2014
08:31 AM ET (US)
Although I have never watched the movie Student Prince I do cherish the soundtrack. Most often we discuss the song Serenade and Beloved I don't recall any posts about the duets. I enjoy the songs Just We two and Summmertime in Heidelberg. My favorite sung by Mario is and will always be Golden Days. There is a recording with Mario and Robert Weede as a duet,the solo sung by Mario is so beautiful.
44599
David Weaver
09-01-2014
12:07 PM ET (US)

Marisa Allasio retired from acting when she married an Italian count in 1958, just a year after filming SEVEN HILLS OF ROME. But she has remained active in high society.

Johanna Von Koczian, on the other hand, has kept busy as an actress and singer for nearly 60 years. The photo I posted of her from 2010 was when she starring, to great acclaim, as Florence Foster Jenkins in a German language version of Peter Quilter's play GLORIOUS. Here's a photo of her taking a curtain call as Jenkins.
44598
Martino to David
09-01-2014
11:40 AM ET (US)
It is interesting to see the recent photos of people you only remember from films shot over fifty years ago. If I look real hard I can see the faint resemblance in the pictures you posted of Allasio and von Koczian - but I have to look real, real hard and use some imagination. If you had asked me to identify these photos I would not have a clue.
44597
Martino to Dan
09-01-2014
11:33 AM ET (US)
I hope you have a quick and full recovery. I have never had a hip replacement but from those I have talked to who have, they tell me it is not nearly as bad as it sounds. It will be a piece of cake for a tough old bird like you!!
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