Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (Great Voices) Hardcover – 1 Nov 2003
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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.
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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