A MESSAGE FROM ANTHONY KEARNS, HONORARY PRESIDENT
For Lanza Legend
Mario Lanza was one of the finest tenors of the 20th century. He has long been an inspiration to me – and to many other singers and fans the world over. It is a rare honor for me to be a part of this organization.
Mario Lanza used all the vocal techniques: the way he varied his voice from pianissimo to fortissimo and back again, his diction and attention to the words, his gestures, and the intensity of emotion he conveyed with every note. And his stage presence and charisma were equal to his voice.
Through his portrayal as Enrico Caruso in the “The Great Caruso,” Mario Lanza set the standard for generations of tenors, and he electrified millions of new fans, as he did what had not been done before, and has not been done since: he made opera popular on the Silver Screen. This allowed him to bring opera to new audiences in every corner of the world.
The impact of his short career cannot be measured with precision. But his life and work had a far reach as three of the greatest tenors of our time, José Carreras in Spain, Plácido Domingo in Mexico, and Luciano Pavarotti of Italy, have paid homage to this great man. He inspired them to develop their God-given voices and to make a career of sharing their voices with the world. And there are other such stories.
It’s been said that Mario Lanza’s life is what legends are made of: from his simple upbringing in South Philadelphia to his meteoric rise as a leading man in Hollywood, to his early and tragic death.
I saw “That Midnight Kiss” many years ago – and what an impact it had on me. To a young man from a small rural village in Ireland, Mario Lanza’s career was proof that it's possible to achieve the impossible dream through sheer force of will, hard work, and a dedication to my craft.
My repertoire is an eclectic mix of music from operatic arias to classical and popular songs, Neapolitan favorites, operettas, to Irish and American standards. But truth be known, it is the songs that he made famous – such as “The Loveliest Night of the Year,” “Serenade” from the Student Prince, and “Because You’re Mine,” to name a few –that I most enjoy singing on fine soft summer nights.
I look forward to helping all of you to preserve his memory so that, together, we can inspire people of all ages to achieve their dreams, with the accompaniment of the music of our lives.
Thank you for the opportunity and God Bless!