A biography of the Italian American tenor, star of The Great Caruso and inspiration to the Three Tenors
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.
256 pp., 44 b&w photographs, filmography, discography, and index