- Series: Great Voices (Book 7)
- Hardcover: 350 pages
- Publisher: Baskerville Publishers (February 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1880909669
- ISBN-13: 978-1880909669
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,196,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (Great Voices 7) Hardcover – February 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
In this newest addition to Bakersville's Great Voices series, Cesari makes the convincing argument that Philadelphia-born Lanza, while one of America's greatest operatic singers, could also have been one of the world's great opera singers, carrying the torch passed on by Enrico Caruso. For Cesari, an Italian-born singer now living in Australia, this work is obviously a labor of love, and his passion comes through in his detailed recounting of Lanza's life. While his admiration for the singer occasionally veers towards the hagiographic, Cesari is careful to analyze Lanza's performances fairly, quoting reporters and reviewers at the time. It was Lanza's meteoric rise in popularity through film, Cesari notes, that drew fire from his most severe critics, who believed that Lanza's voice was too weak for the stage. But as many of the reviews and comments from well-known opera personalities show, this was hardly the case. What makes this book even more appealing (and what justifies its price) is the accompanying CD, which includes many pieces from Lanza's early career.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Touted as the successor to Enrico Caruso, Mario Lanza (1921-59) had a beautiful lirico spinto tenor of wide vocal range and could have become the primo donno of the opera world. But he loved the money he made from movies, recordings, and concerts and, plagued by depression, lacked self-confidence. When depressed, he turned to alcohol and food; later, whenever the film studios wanted him trim, he crash-dieted. That damaged his heart and liver, contributing to his early death. Cesari, who loves Lanza and regrets he never realized his potential, traces the singer's various projects, assessing successes and failures. He includes material gleaned from the news and 30 years' worth of interviews with Lanza's family and friends. Along with interpretive personal commentary, Cesari poignantly tells the tragic story of a beautiful voice and the sick personality behind it. Roland Bessette covered the same life in his 1999 biography, but Cesari writes with greater love and includes a CD of selected performances, more than 250 photographs, and complete listings of Lanza's recordings, films, and other performances. Alan Hirsch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
Testimonials, carefully documented, by the best and brightest performers of Lanza's generation gave clear evidence that he was the greatest tenor and perhaps the greatest singer of all time.
This is an excellent book and all those who seek a real portrait of Mario Lanza owe Maestro Cesari an enormous debt of gratitude. He devoted decades to preparing this wonderful work and it deserves rave reviews.
Someday a fine movie will be made about Lanza, along the lines of "Amadeus" or "Ray" that will depict the great voice and the great man who possessed it and cared for it enough so we can still enjoy it today.
Bravo Mario and Bravo Maestro Cesari!!
THE CD that comes with the book is fantastic!!!!!
Most recent customer reviews
Con - It was a bit dry