Hello Mr. Jeff Rense,
First of all my sincere compliments for
your site dedicated to Mario Lanza. My father, Michelangelo Verso, is an
Italian Lyric Tenor and we are of course great fans of Mario Lanza. I grew
up listening various records of all kinds of tenors and I must say that
the impact of Mario was great on me.
My father was selected by Beniamino Gigli
to sing in his own concert at the Teatro Massimo of Palermo in 1949, and
presented as a lyric tenor of great promise. He made a modest career in
many conutries at that time and also sang at the Pittsburgh Opera and recorded
many records for Fonit, Cetra and Columbia. He also knew and met personally
Mr. Enrico Rosati, the teacher of Gigli. My father's opinion (also mine)
is that Mario Lanza had the most beautiful voice ever heard and that he
was one of those rare singers who sang with all the heart and soul. Every
word and phrase need the correct interpretation to reach the audience and
Lanza did it. Today there is lack of interpretation of many lyric singers
and in that way they will never be able to reach and move the audience.
My father always sang with his heart and
soul and that is the reason why we love so much Mario Lanza because he
gave everything he had to the audience and that makes an artist great and
unforgettable over times.
If you wish, I invite you to visit my
humble Homepage dedicated to my father, the Tenor Michelangelo Verso, at:
where you can read about his biography
and see many photos never pubblished before of: Beniamino Gigli, Giuseppe
di Stefano, Maria Caniglia etc., together with my father. If you have any
questions of comments please E-mail me, it shall be our honour.
Our best regards,
Michelangelo Verso & Jr.
- Dear Mr. Rense,
- First I want to thank you for this Mario
Lanza Site it is a breath of fresh air to find other people so enamored
- As a teenager I was into the big bands
of my time and no other music especially opera was important. I was also
a part time musician playing a saxophone. However I do not know how it
happened but I went to see one of my idols Gene Krupa here in New York
at the now defunct Strand theater. At that time there was a stage show
and a movie. Well after the stage show was over they played this movie
THAT MIDNIGHT kISS". Since we wanted to get our moneys worth and see
the stage show again my friends and I hung on to see this movie. The rest
is history Mario singlehandley converted me in one picture to an avid opera
lover who has most all of the contemporary opera singers recordings at
present. However when I want to enjoy myself and listen to music I always
play mario. His technique (?) may not have been flawless but he is musical
and his voice is very broad not stilted by training. You can pick out Marios
singing easily. Other tenors though good, sound all of the same as if they
went to the same teacher.
- My kid brother also fell in love with
Mario however never saw him in person as well I have never seen him in
person. But my brother seeked out contemporary opera singers. I have a
nice picture of my brother with Richard Tucker. Unfortunately my kid brother
is with Mario passing away at a young age.
- Keep up the good work and keep pushing
Mario I am sick of these opera lovers who discount Mario because he was
a movie hero not a full fledged opera singer but had he lived in good health
he probably would have appeared at La Scala after his last proposed movie.
- Good luck,
P.S. Indeed, I still admire Mario and listen to him almost constantly I
cannot believe he has been gone almost 40 years. Every time I listen to
him I wish I did know him so I could give him a swift kick in the pants
for living life the way he did and taking a talent away from the whole
world. Who knows how far he could have gone with some further training.
According to one biography I read Mario could have blown away the then
reigning tenors Mario Del Monaco and Jussi Bjoerling with no problems.