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Mario Lanza: Singing to the Gods (American Made Music Series) Hardcover – July 5, 2005
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“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.”
“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
“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
From the Publisher
*Brings American readers a superb biography on Lanza written by the world's leading expert on the man and his music
*Features new photographs and information not available elsewhere due to the author's access to the Lanza family
Top Customer Reviews
Now, happily, the first-ever American edition of MARIO LANZA - SINGING TO THE GODS has been published by University Press of Mississippi. Not merely a copy of Mannering's book produced for the UK, this new, updated edition includes never-before-released material in the way of photos and interviews, including several poignant reminisces of Lanza's niece, actress Dolores Hart, who retired from the screen more than 40 years ago to become a nun, Mother Dolores. As in his previous works, Mannering has had the blessings and cooperation of two very important people in Mario Lanza's life - his best friend and trainer, Terry Robinson, and Lanza's only surviving daughter, Elissa Lanza Bregman, who wrote the book's heartfelt Foreword.
Always written in a lively and entertaining style, the strength of Derek Mannering's books lies in the fact that he focuses on Mario Lanza's incredible talent, and how he used that talent -- thru films, radio, television, concerts and recordings -- to bring the world of opera and great music to the average person.Read more ›
At the very least, the meteoric career of the troubled tenor was colorful, but the colorless, pedestrian prose of Mannering reads like an album's liner notes. At no point did I get a real feeling for Lanza, the man. An endorsement from Lanza'a daughter is actually a red flag; the seamier side of Lanza's well-documented personality gets short shrift here. We see Lanza destroying himself; the author gives us precious little by way of explanation as to what inner demons drove him to self-destruct.
Put simply, the material cries out for a writer whose prose style (and research skills) could capture the nuances of the era and the soaring highs and crushing lows of Lanza's short but blazing career. The author fails on both fronts.
Additionally, the book seems to have scarcely been proofed; one can not read more than two or three pages without encountering an egregious typo (i.e. "the Metropolital Opera") or an incomplete sentence. After a few chapters, one becomes very annoyed that the editors could not perform this most basic function.Read more ›
Mannering carefully shows us how Lanza became a movie star--almost through a series of divinely inspired accidents it seems, while skimping a little bit on the childhood in Philadelphia which other writers have written tomes about. All the while we imagine that Lanza's childhood did hold something traumatic in it, otherwise he would have been beter equipped to withstand the disaster of success! As Joe Pasternak, the MGM producer, says (page 71), "Success is harder to take then failure." Well, that may not be true for all men and women, but it seems to have been true for Mario Lanza.
Derek Mannering is forthright about Lanza's various addictions--for example, he describes a late life discovery of Campari that persisted despite taking a regular course of Antabuse (pills that supposedly make you ghastly sick if you take a drink).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is an honest portrait of the singer's life and a celebration of his music and career. It tells the story of a very gifted and troubled human being, his life, and his... Read morePublished 3 months ago by L. Feeley
Absolutely terrific. Learned things I didn't know before. Although Armando Cesari's book, An American Tragedy is the the ultimate book to have on Lanza. Read morePublished 11 months ago by calabrese
This book gives an inside look into the fantastic life of the man who was called "The American Caruso"
This is a must read for anyone who appreciates a natural tenor!
This is a meticulously detailed account of the life of my life-long idol. Any Lanza fan should read this. He reached millions through his movies. Read morePublished on June 13, 2014 by Guy Charlebois
This is the first book I read about Mario Lanza, whom I recently discovered on a local classical station that was playing some of his operatic arias. Read morePublished on May 15, 2014 by Carol Berger
Mr Mannerings book was written with love, respect, & caring for this fabulous singer. He did not dwell on Mr Lanzas faults or shortcomings but told us a sincere account of his... Read morePublished on April 30, 2014 by monneblamb1301
I bought this book because I wanted to learn more about the life and times of one of the worlds greatest voices. I found the book entertaining and informative.Published on December 30, 2013 by Jean T. Zungola
I agree with the reviewers who rate this book highly. It tells the story of a phenomenon, a singer of operatic arias and Neapolitan songs and some pop tunes who sold millions of... Read morePublished on July 27, 2012 by George Goldberg