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Julie PagePerson was signed in when posted
04:15 PM ET (US)
JULIE PAGE . Listened to Del Monaco's "Un Amore", but preferred Pavarotti's version., To both Del Monaco's and Boccelli's.Can't imagine what Mario's would have been like.Wonderful,I'm sure.
Julie PagePerson was signed in when posted
03:46 PM ET (US)
Julie Page(Suzanne). I agree that Mario, if he'd had the chance,would have pursued Opera again. as I believe he was "over" Hollywood by that time and was seeing things in a different light. We can only speculate and wish . He probably would have given Opera a whole new audience. Just imagine!Fred, I wasn't fond of the sensational aspect of that show, but did see it, and hope that people were convinced that the awful Mafia story wasn't true. His health was so bad then, that it wasn't meant to be. Of course, that was just as terrible to have happen.
Derek McGPerson was signed in when posted
05:56 AM ET (US)
Some weeks back, I posted the audio of Mario's extended radio interview in Italian for the RAI broadcast of "La Mia Vita per il Canto" on October 4, 1959. Thanks to the efforts of Steff Walzinger and Armando Cesari, the English translation is now available as well:

Valeria PugiottoPerson was signed in when posted
12:15 AM ET (US)
Fred, I agree with you! The best ‘Un amore cosi’ grande’ is the one sung by Del Monaco. I have always thought that Bocelli is way too overrated. I find Bocelli quite a mediocre tenor...
Mario would have melted the heart of the world with his rendition of this song.
Fred DayPerson was signed in when posted
12:00 PM ET (US)
Jim Thompson: My favorite "Un Amore Cosi Grande" recording is by Del Monaco, one of his last recordings. Pity that Lanza didn't live to record it. Neither did Sergio Franchi, unfortunately. Ciao.
Al CanezPerson was signed in when posted
11:07 AM ET (US)
Jim Thompson here Martino. As usual your comments and descriptions of the greatest voice we know are where they should be. "Marioisms" have inspired so many singers over these many years.
After playing "Un Amore Cosi Grande" in the car this morning by Bocelli, I imagine what Mario would have poured out into that song. My only other recording is Pavarotti's but my money sits with
Andrea on this one. Enjoy your week-ends.
Martino1Person was signed in when posted
08:38 AM ET (US)
It seems we are going back once again to Lanza singing off-pitch. We have this discussion from time to time and I have made my thoughts known each time it comes up. In fact, we had this same discussion about a month or two ago so let me repeat once again (with minor alterations and additions) my input on this subject as I did then and at other times in the past:

"The fact of the matter is Lanza did sing "off-pitch" now and then, especially at the start of his career. But I must tell you I would rather celebrate the good singing Mario did and include the "bad" only as part of the whole song analysis, instead of concentrating specifically on sharp or flat notes or otherwise what people would consider "off-pitch" singing. The reason is that we have to go further to explain to people that in some cases that is not a terribly bad thing, or at least not as bad as it sounds. Singing sharp or flat is not what singers want to do of course, however, in some cases, such as Corelli and Lanza (and to a lessor extent, Jussi Bjorling), it could often enhance the excitement of the performance.

One thing that makes tenor singing exciting is that they often sing "on the edge", especially in the upper reaches of their voices. It is a very dangerous place to be and hitting every note spot on is of course the ideal but in so doing it could be suppressing the enthusiasm of the overall performance in lieu of "correctness". Will that "correctness" be as exciting to the audience? Is it the goal of the singer to be perfect in a technically enhanced way (Bergonzi comes to mind), in order to demonstrate artistic proficiency above all else, or is the goal to be as communicative and exciting as possible to the listener, which I believe describes Lanza? After the singer makes a stylistic choice based on training and personality, they sing accordingly.

Lanza singing sharp was usually a direct result of being too exuberant and we all know that Mario, especially in the first stage of his career, was one of the most "exuberant" singers of all time. The emotion gets the best of you and when you sing the way Lanza did with his trademark unrestrained enthusiasm, you are bound to go sharp sometimes and certainly more often than going flat although that happens now and then as well. It also results in some inconsistency from song to song, even during the same session. The ending of "Cielo e Mar" always struck me as a little sharp but still a glorious sound and a wonderful rendition overall. His early "Core 'ngrato" is bursting with this enthusiasm and the whole thing seems sharp but more noticeably towards the end. Yet who would trade that kind of enthusiastic singing for the more technically perfect but restrained renditions we hear today?

There are many other examples because Lanza's singing is dotted throughout his career with "Marioisms" - certain vocal characteristics that in most singers would be condemned but in Lanza's case, they actually added to his style and overall impact on the audience. Singing a little sharp sometimes was simply one of those little "Marioisms" that made him the singer he was. Lanza was seldom "too" far off pitch to be truly ear shattering and jarring, but just enough to show you he wanted to sing dangerously, on the edge and with all his heart and passion, not just with his technique. He was willing to risk it and that made him the exciting singer he was. He would not be the Lanza we know if he sang any other way.

I am not too bothered by this bit of Lanza inconsistency that seems to annoy some people because as far as I am concerned, as I said, he seldom sang SO sharp that it was a major distraction. Listen to Joan Sutherland if every once in a while you want to really cringe in your seat over "sharpness". Despite this episodic occurrence, overall, she was an incredible singer. In comparison you seldom "cringe" at the sound of Mario's "sharpness". It is there sometimes but appears like more of halo around the note than a defect.

I am not necessarily trying to justify anyone's singing off-pitch but only trying to explain that in some cases it might not be so bad as "singing off-pitch" sounds. So for me, at least in Lanza's case, I can accept it as one of those little "Marioisms" and is no big deal at all".
Mike from L.I.Person was signed in when posted
08:39 PM ET (US)
HI FOLKS, Just catching up after a while away from the bulletin board and have a few observations and comments. Did someone actually say Mario never sang flat? may I refer you to an album named Lanza on Broadway. Filled with flat notes. Listen to You'll never walk alone then listen to the versions by Placido Domingo and the one by Kiri Te Kanawa--masterpieces both.
Mentioning Howard Keel and Camelot, I saw him at the Mineola Playhouse on Long Island. He played the Richard Burton role, not The Robert Goulet Lancelot. His singing was fine but his speaking was very strained and muffled as he tried to project his voice.
This may be of interest to some, when I saw the original on Broadway, the Julie Andrews role was played by Kathryn Grayson. She was wonderful.
Fred DayPerson was signed in when posted
07:01 PM ET (US)
Yesterday, I heard on internet radio, a performance of Andrea Chenier, from about a month ago. Roberto Alagna sang the title role. He is now age 56. He still sounds good. If there is any vocal decline, so far, it is quite slight. I was pleased. Ciao.
Fred DayPerson was signed in when posted
06:55 PM ET (US)
I fully agree with Martino. Had Lanza lived another 10 years (as Caruso did), he surely would have gone into opera. It is known that RCA Victor had plans to record a few complete opera with Lanza. Pagliacci was to have been the first. I read this in Variety newspaper about a week after Lanza's death. And, of course, Lanza would have recorded more new songs. I feel sure he would have recorded The Exodus Song - it would have been a perfect choice. Sadly, cruel fate intervened. Ciao.
Barbara CliftonPerson was signed in when posted
05:58 PM ET (US)
(aka Diane Cox) Martino, agree that if Lanza didn't sing he was out of the loop. Goodlooking, and a decent actor, but still the voice was the compelling star quality. At 39 he should have been close to his prime with his voice. Bezcala (SP) is in his 40s and his voice is at it's best so far. So it could have gotten even better for Mario - too bad we'll never have any answers.
Martino1Person was signed in when posted
05:20 PM ET (US)
Kristine, I think if Lanza had lived longer he would have moved to opera rather than musical theater. I don't see summer stock in his genes. Everything about the last couple years of his life pointed towards a renewal of his interest in opera. His interpretations were deeper in every song and aria he sang and he sounded more like an opera singer even when singing "pop" songs than he ever did in his early years. He was more naturally dramatic in every way and I think he would have been smart enough to capitalize on that musical, interpretive and vocal growth. It was all perfectly positioned and it pointed directly towards opera. And as we all know, an opera career is what he trained and dreamed of from the very beginning. Hollywood created a detour to that dream but by the mid 50s musical movies were about to dry up and it would provide him the time for study so he could engage in complete, staged opera performances and recordings. That he ran out of time to do those things is an immeasurable loss to the musical world.

As his many film performances show, Mario was a natural as an opera singer on stage but I don't think that would have extended to musical theater which is so much different. You mention Howard Keel who was indeed a natural in that genre of musical theater, not only musically and vocally but physically, temperamentally and as an actor. In his case, when the musical movies dried up for the most part, he naturally and easily moved on to staring in Western movies and action films, such as "Waco" and "War Wagon". In fact, I liked him best when he assumed the non singing character of Clayton Farlow in the popular tv series, "Dallas".

I could be wrong but I don't think Lanza could have pulled something like that off. Unlike Howard, if Lanza did not sing he basically was out of the loop in films and opera would be his natural and favored alternative. But once again we hit upon a subject that has only one correct answer - "we will never know".
Fred DayPerson was signed in when posted
04:45 PM ET (US)
Julie: I thought that program was pretty good. It featured Damon Lanza and Bob Dolfi, and Al Martino. They provided proof that Lanza was not bumped off by the mafia. I recorded it on VHS video cassette when it was first aired on the E! channel. I will have to hunt for my VHS tape. It was a 25 minute program. Ciao.
Kristine CimmyPerson was signed in when posted
01:39 PM ET (US)
In Howard Keel's autobiography, he wrote of the Broadway Musicals , he appeared in, in his later years, as part of dinner theaters, etc. He and Jane Powell performed in "South Pacific" in San Diego area, he performed in "No Strings" with Barbara McNair, performed in "Man of La Mancha", "Camelot", portrayed FDR in a production of "Sunrise At Campobello". He was never much of a fan of opera, preferred Broadway Stage. One of his daughters married actor, Edward James Olmos. Howard also appeared on "Sonny &Cher Show". I wonder if Mario Lanza had lived, if he would have been on "Sonny &Cher", do Broadway Musicals ?
Julie PagePerson was signed in when posted
01:28 PM ET (US)
Fred, though you're a favorite poster of mine, I for one am grateful that show is no longer on the air.
Fred DayPerson was signed in when posted
02:28 PM ET (US)
I notice that the "Mysteries and Scandals" episode on Lanza, is no longer on Youtube. It used to be. It originally aired on the E! channel in 2000. The host was A. J. Benza. I wonder why it is no longer on YouTube?? Can anyone answer?? Thanks. Ciao.
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