Mario Lanza: Singing to the Gods

Mario Lanza: Singing to the Gods

by Derek Mannering
     
 

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Blessed with one of the great tenor voices of all time, Mario Lanza (1921-1959) rose to spectacular heights in a film, recording, and concert career that spanned little more than a decade. Groomed at the outset for a career on the opera stage, Lanza instead flourished in Hollywood where his films, most notably The Great Caruso, broke box-office records the world

Overview

Blessed with one of the great tenor voices of all time, Mario Lanza (1921-1959) rose to spectacular heights in a film, recording, and concert career that spanned little more than a decade. Groomed at the outset for a career on the opera stage, Lanza instead flourished in Hollywood where his films, most notably The Great Caruso, broke box-office records the world over and influenced the careers of countless musicians. To this day, the Three Tenors cite him as an inspiration for their own careers on the classical stage. Lanza's recordings for RCA sold in the millions, and he remains the crossover artist supreme.

But his tremendous success was derailed by his self-destructive lifestyle, and by age thirty-eight he was dead, with his extraordinary promise left unfulfilled.

Newly revised and updated for its first U.S. edition, Mario Lanza: Singing to the Gods is the definitive account of the remarkable life and times of one of the twentieth century's most beloved singing stars. This richly detailed work also contains a selection of rare photographs, several of which are drawn from Lanza's estate.

With the support of Lanza's daughter, Ellisa Lanza Bregman, the tenor's colleagues, and his closest friend Terry Robinson, Derek Mannering has chronicled a fascinating and unforgettable life. From the fabulous successes of the early MGM years through the disastrous walkouts and cancellations that sent Lanza's career into freefall, Mannering objectively and movingly reveals the story of a great star torn apart by his own troubled psyche and undisciplined lifestyle.

Derek Mannering, Park Ridge, Illinois, is the author of Mario Lanza: A Life in Pictures.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Mario Lanza (1921-59) possessed an extraordinary voice and rose to astonishing heights as an opera singer and matin e idol in a career that lasted little more than a decade. As the subtitle suggests, this is not an impartial, no-holds-barred biography: the awestruck Mannering (Mario Lanza: A Life in Pictures) goes to great lengths to interpret the singer's life, successes, and eventual self-induced downfall in only the most favorable light. Even when chronicling Lanza's bizarre and self-destructive behavior, he is sympathetic. One-sided though it may be, this is a fascinating account of an extremely talented singer who simply could not handle his success, which draws on the cooperation of Lanza's daughter, Ellisa Lanza Bregman. Readers wanting a similarly factual but less adulatory approach should consult Roland L. Bessette's Mario Lanza: Tenor in Exile. First published in England in 2001, Mannering's biography was supposed to have been updated and revised for its U.S. release, but it seems to be a word-for-word duplicate. Nonetheless, recommended for public and academic libraries.-Timothy J. McGee, Hastings, Ont. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

“Mannering succeeds triumphantly in bringing to life the man and his music. More important, he makes you want to listen again and again to the recordings and marvel again at the enormous talent Lanza possessed while also shedding a tear at what might have been.”

Opera Now

“Anyone who wants to know about the life and times of Mario Lanza need go no further than this book.”

—from the foreword by Ellisa Lanza Bregman, daughter of Mario Lanza

“How desperately the world needed this biography . . . an important work that will help to further and refine, and even become a part of Mario Lanza’s incredible legacy.”

—Richard Leech, tenor

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781578067411
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
Publication date:
07/05/2005
Series:
American Made Music Series
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
786,901
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Derek Mannering, Park Ridge, Illinois, is the author of Mario Lanza: A Life in Pictures.

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