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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mario Lanza: A True Musical Phenomenon, 17 Oct. 2004
This review is from: Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (Great Voices) (Hardcover)
Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy by Armando Cesari is a must read to know the real Lanza, musically and personally. This author, a musical authority himself, presents this great artists's life for the first time in both a sympathetic and knowledgeable way. He does not editorialize about what should have been, but instead focuses on things as they "were" and how they "came to be".
Over a period of thirty years, Mr. Cesari interviewed figures including friends, operatic artists, musicians, movie actors, family members, managers, conductors, and many other people who came into contact with Mario on a personal level. Even though he did not follow an operatic career, there are many tributes from operatic artists attesting to the idea that he could have been one of the most successful divos of his day. And so, we get a well-rounded portrait of the man as well. The author explains the various situations in Mario's life, the highs and the lows, with a rare insight.
I found this book to be more than pleasurable to read. It should do much to promote the musical legacy of Mario Lanza. The accompanying CD gives a sampling of what he sounded like in home rehearsals, live performances and early radio shows. Derek McGovern's liner notes reflect both his love for and knowledge of Mario's music. He writes with humor and extraordinary sensitivity.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The True Story, 2 Feb. 2005
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Robert E F Davies (Bridgwater, Somerset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (Great Voices) (Hardcover)
Armando Cesari has, where most have failed, laid to rest the myths that have surrounded the life and legacy of the great tenor Mario Lanza. Was he a truck driver? No! Could he sustain a full opera on stage? Yes! Did he have the stamina to do so? Yes!
As with all great stars of the past, stories get handed down by the "I was there" brigade who were nowhere near at the time! Careful research has gone into the writing of this book. Mario was a warm hearted man who gave his voice and talent to the world unselfishly. He was only given to temperamental outbursts when the idiots that surrounded him tried to get him to do things that were beneath him and that prostituted his talent! Read the book; judge for yourselves and do not dismiss the voice that still lives on 46 years after his death.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Lanza biography!, 20 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (Great Voices) (Hardcover)
This is the Lanza biography I waited years for. Very well researched & written. It works on all levels, emotional, intellectual & musical! It is by far the best biography dealing with Mario Lanza the Artist. Highly recommended!!! The free cd of fantastic live & rare Mario Lanza performances is a wonderful bonus!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reclaiming Mario Lanza's Greatness, 3 Sept. 2004
By 
C. M. Sciabarra "cmsciabarra" (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (Great Voices) (Hardcover)
Cesari's book is a reclamation project: it is a successful attempt to reclaim Lanza's artistic legacy in a world that clings furiously to a false dichotomy between art and entertainment. It was an implicit acceptance of this conventional dualism that tore Mario Lanza's soul in two, and that lies at the base of the tragedy that Cesari describes. Despite unfulfilled promise, Lanza made an indelible mark on music, becoming, in effect, one of the first great "crossover" artists, who has inspired generations of singers, across genres, challenging the musical snobs of his time who sought to denigrate his remarkable achievements. Bravo to Cesari, and to the subject of his biography.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST BIOGRAPHY OF MARIO LANZA, 16 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (Great Voices) (Hardcover)
Very informative biography of a misunderstood tenor , one of ( if not the ) greatest singers of the 20th century .
The CD that comes with the book is is superb , highly recommended .
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Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (Great Voices)
Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (Great Voices) by Armando Cesari (Hardcover - Nov. 2003)
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