Lanza, Mario [Cocozza, Alfred Arnold ]
- Jean W. Thomas
[Cocozza, Alfred Arnold ]
(b Philadelphia, Jan 31, 1921; d Rome, Italy, Oct 7, 1959). American tenor. He first studied singing while working as a piano mover in Philadelphia and in 1942 was awarded a summer scholarship at the Berkshire Music Center. Shortly afterwards he entered the Special Services of the armed forces and sang regularly for military radio shows during World War II. After his discharge he made a series of concert appearances, including a performance at the Hollywood Bowl in 1946. His first film role in That Midnight Kiss (1949) brought him immediate national recognition and fame. He subsequently made six further films, including The Great Caruso (1951) and The Toast of New Orleans (1950), in which he sang his greatest hit, Be my love (Brodszky and Cahn). Although he possessed a voice of great power and range, Lanza sang in only one opera, Puccini’s ...