Showing posts with label Oper Singer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oper Singer. Show all posts

Thursday, April 19, 2018

MARIO LANZA 1921-1959

Image of Mario Lanza used for promotional purp...
Image of Mario Lanza used for promotional purposes for the film Serenade. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mario Lanza was undoubtedly one of the most loved Tenors of all time, his emotional renditions of famous arias and ballads have left a lasting legacy for all time. Born Arnold Alfredo Cocozza in 1921 (The year Enrico Caruso died), he inspired so many modern tenors to have a career in the opera houses of the world.

He had a meteoric rise to fame, and his career went the way of films, where he soon became a matinee idol. Here is a list of his films.
That Midnight Kiss (1949) with Kathryn Grayson
The Toast of New Orleans (1950) with Kathryn Grayson
The Great Caruso (1951) with Ann Blyth. Many consider this to be Lanza,s finest role.
Because Your Mine (1952) with Dorretta Morrow
The Student Prince (1954) Although Mario Lanza,s voice was used in this film, he did not appear in it personally.
Serenade (1956) All about a rising opera star! with Joan Fontaine.
Seven Hills of Rome (1957) with Renato Rascel and Marisa allasio.
For The First Time (1959) with Johanna Van Kozian and Zsa Zsa Gabor.
He truly had a gift that is only granted once or twice in one or two centuries, Mario could take a simple Neapolitan love song and turn it into an aria. Once you heard him perform it is often said that he made it his own, and no other could sing it like him with so much excitement and feeling. One such song is Core N Grato.

There are many stories abound about why he did not appear in "The Student Prince", I have in the past heard that he would disappear and binge on food, and his weight would balloon up and down. Another angle is a disagreement on the music, all conjecture and I wonder if anyone outside of his family really knows the truth, about this and his untimely death in 1959. (Another can of worms).

With that said let's just marvel at his talent and be thankful for a career (although brief), that has and continues to bring a lot of pleasure to all that hear him.

Whether you are a fan of Mario Lanza or not, you cannot help but be moved by at least one of his aria,s or ballads. It is like a fine wine "Once tasted never forgotten" and the world will never forget Mario Lanza's rendition of the "Drinking Song" amongst a host of others to take pleasure in.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Professional OPERA SINGER Voice Types: The TENOR

Leo Slezak (1873 – 1946), tenor opera singer a...
Leo Slezak (1873 – 1946), tenor opera singer and actor
(Photo credit: 
We all know how thrilling it is to hear a live professional opera singer. Even on a recording, it is something quite special, but nothing really beats seeing and hearing a professional opera singer in the flesh.

A tenor is the second highest male voice with the highest being the countertenor. As with any operatic voice type, each voice has several sub-categories. There is the lyric tenor who sings a lot of Puccini and Verdi, there is the Mozartian tenor, and the Heldentenor who sings Wagner to name but a few. In this article, we will take a look at some types of tenor voice types, and name some popular, very difficult, tenor arias relating to those voices.

1. Di quella pira from Verdi's Il Trovatore

This is a dramatic aria, both in character and plot-wise. When Manrico (the dramatic tenor singing this aria) learns that his mother, Acuzena, is about to be burnt at the stake, he gathers all his soldiers around him and tells them what has to be done. Manrico is outraged and Verdi conveys this through his music. You can hear his anger and the sense of drama is heightened by the rhythm. This aria isn't demanding in the sense that it doesn't have lots of high Cs, yet it is one of the most difficult ones in the operatic repertoire. It requires the tenor to have real muscle to his sound and when the high C finally comes, it is worth the wait! This aria is sung by a dramatic tenor and when you hear it, you understand why.

2. Ah mes amis from Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment

This aria certainly has high C's. Ah mes amis, sometimes referred to as the ten high Cs aria, is filled with them. The character of this aria is light, melodic and beautiful. Of course, it is thrilling as you just can't wait for the high Cs to come. This aria requires an easy high lying tenor voice, namely a light tenor.

3. Che gelida manina by Puccini from La Bohème

This is a classic tenor aria from one of the most loved operas ever written. This piece, as well as most other arias and duets from La Bohème, are pieces you often come across at opera galas, corporate entertainment events, and singing waiter performances. The hero, Rodolfo, has just met the love of his life, Mimì (a lyric soprano), and sings of how cold her hand is. It is sensitive, has beautiful melodic vocal lines and a lush, rich orchestration. This would be sung by a lyric tenor.

There is nothing that beats the experience of hearing a professional opera singer live. Hopefully, the time you next go to an opera gala, an operatic corporate entertainment event, or even a performance at an opera house, you will feel you know a little bit more about the tenor voice.