Take Our Mario Lanza Quizzes!

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Derek McGovern

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Jun 12, 2015, 9:35:41 AM6/12/15
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Vince's posting the other day of a contestant's performance on the British Mastermind whose specialty was Mario Lanza has inspired me to create my own Lanza quiz:


There are thirty questions of varying difficulty, all with multiple-choice answers. Take the quiz, and then let us know how you got on!    

Vincent Di Placido

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Oct 13, 2013, 7:39:34 AM10/13/13
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I need to do my homework :-(
I didn't do too well at all... My excuse is I wasnt really awake yet :-)
Great quiz though, Derek, some tricky stuff there.
 

Derek McGovern

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Oct 13, 2013, 8:24:23 AM10/13/13
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Thanks for giving it a go, Vince! 

(And do let us know if there's anything in the quiz that surprised you.)

Depending on the amount of time I have over the coming weeks, I may add the occasional quiz on specific subjects (e.g. films, recordings) at some stage. Any suggestions are welcome!

Cheers
Derek 

P.S. All quiz guesses are anonymous---I can't see IP addresses or even the participants' countries---so anyone who takes part should have no fear about being embarrassed :)  

Barnabas Nemeth

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Oct 13, 2013, 10:46:33 AM10/13/13
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I have done it at 47%, but frankly, it was difficult somewhere, and somewhere not too relevant. Otherwise good play and it should be repeated. Barnabas

Joseph Fagan

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Oct 13, 2013, 10:41:38 AM10/13/13
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I hope your tests for your students are easier! I flunked also in the mid forties but a fun puzzle. Creative idea.

Joe


On Sun, Oct 13, 2013 at 9:42 AM, Barnabas Nemeth <barnaba...@gmail.com> wrote:
I have done it at 47%, but frankly, it was difficult somewhere, and somewhere not too relevant. Otherwise good play and it should be repeated. Barnabas


2013/10/13 Derek McGovern <derek.m...@gmail.com>
Thanks for giving it a go, Vince! 

(And do let us know if there's anything in the quiz that surprised you.)

Depending on the amount of time I have over the coming weeks, I may add the occasional quiz on specific subjects (e.g. films, recordings) at some stage. Any suggestions are welcome!

Cheers
Derek 

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Derek McGovern

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Oct 13, 2013, 11:12:50 AM10/13/13
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Hi Barnabas: My quiz questions were "not too relevant"? Ouch!! 

Hi Joe: You're welcome to give the quiz another shot any time you like. I've also changed the penultimate question ("Who produced the Mario! album?"), as the answer doesn't appear in any Lanza biography, and we can't be 100% sure it's correct. It was grumpy Paul Baron, conductor of Caruso Favorites and the Student Prince and Christmas stereo album remakes, who told me he had produced the Mario! album. I had no reason to doubt him---and he talked about his admiration for its conductor---but then again you never know. So out it goes.

Anyway, question #29 is now an easier question for some, and hopefully more interesting for those who don't know the answer.

Cheers
Derek 

Steff

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Oct 13, 2013, 4:10:34 PM10/13/13
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Hi Derek,
 
I had four questions wrong ( I think I had 86 % okay).
I was wrong with the time span in which Mario performed with the Bel Canto Trio. For some reason I thought that they already started to tour in 1946, but apparently I mixed this up with Mario only appearing with Frances Yeend at Grant Park in 1946. Yet I was somewhat confused when I saw the caption in Armando's book to a publicity photo of the Bel Canto Trio (photo no.27) which has the year 1946. This caption might not be correct then. Maybe it was corrected in the second edition? I think my copy is the first edition, so I cannot check myself.
 
Steff

leeann

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Oct 13, 2013, 4:53:07 PM10/13/13
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Not a passing grade here, but great, great fun! Now on to the new "Rate this Recording: All the Things You Are." Lee Ann

Armando

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Oct 13, 2013, 6:20:39 PM10/13/13
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Sorry about the confusion, Steff. The photo was actually taken in 1946 as part of the advance publicity for the 1947 tour. Regardless, an 86% score is pretty impressive!  

Armando

Armando

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Oct 13, 2013, 8:16:35 PM10/13/13
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Hi Barnabas: I think that as well as being informative, Derek intended the quiz to be a bit of fun, therefore, I’m surprised that you found it not too relevant-after all I don’t think it was intended as a test for admission to a university.:-) 

Armando

Derek McGovern

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Oct 13, 2013, 7:47:37 PM10/13/13
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Hi Steff: 86% is a great score! You'd get an A in my university class :) There are some tricky questions in that quiz.

As for thinking that the Bel Canto Trio tour started in 1946, well, you're certainly not the only one to have thought that---Roland Bessette even makes the same mistake in his biography! And while it's true that Lanza did perform at least four concerts with Frances Yeend (two in Chicago in July 1946 and two more in January 1947 in St. Louis) before the Bel Canto Trio tour took place, most of 1946---and roughly the first half of 1947---was devoted to serious study with Rosati. However, as Armando notes in his book, Rosati did encourage Lanza to perform the occasional concert during that period in order to gain poise and confidence.

Incidentally, I hope to have a new feature ready for our site in a week or two that chronologically lists all known public performances by Lanza. 

Cheers
Derek 

Steff

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Oct 14, 2013, 7:00:14 AM10/14/13
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Hi Derek,
 
Well, I have to admit that without the multiple choice options it would not have been that easy!
 

Steff

Steff

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Oct 14, 2013, 7:09:10 AM10/14/13
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Hi Armando,
 
I was not aware that the advance publicity started so early (in 1946), given the fact that the concert tour of the BelCanto Trio only started in July 1947. Somehow I thought that the Bel Canto Trio was only founded in 1947.
 
Steff

norma

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Oct 14, 2013, 2:52:19 PM10/14/13
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Dear Derek,My score was70 per cent.The things that surprised me were the number of recitals in Germany,the number of weeks in the charts for the recording of The Student Prince and the shorter length of Mario's time with the Bel Canto Trio.Somehow I had the idea that Mario cancelled his concerts in Germany.Very interesting quiz.I learnt quite a lot.
All the Best Norma
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Message has been deleted

Armando

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Oct 14, 2013, 9:52:10 PM10/14/13
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Hi Steff: This is part of the advance publicity for the tour.


Lou

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Oct 15, 2013, 8:05:15 PM10/15/13
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I answered off the top of my head and scored 60%. Nothing to crow about, but taking the quiz was fun.

Derek McGovern

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Oct 21, 2013, 3:18:18 AM10/21/13
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Glad you had fun, Lou!

I've just added another 30-question quiz to our site:


As before, this is a mixture of the profound and the trivial :) Some of the questions are easy; others are quite tricky, but hopefully will intrigue you.

Enjoy yourselves!
Derek 

norma

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Oct 21, 2013, 9:55:02 AM10/21/13
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47% this time.I found this quiz much more difficult than the first one but still good fun.
Norma

Derek McGovern

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Oct 21, 2013, 9:43:03 PM10/21/13
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Don't worry, Norma: You did better than many so far! It is a more difficult quiz than the last one. 

The highest score achieved to date is 73%. I wonder if anyone will top that on their first attempt?

Cheers
Derek

Vincent Di Placido

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Oct 22, 2013, 8:57:42 AM10/22/13
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OK! I have to stop doing these quizzes when I first wake up & impatiently answer the first answer that comes into my head, I'm only getting in the 60ish% each time :-(
The "would-be mother-in-law" question almost fried my brain :-) & the aria that Mario sang in one film but didn't know in another is a great question, bravo, Derek! You should work on "Mastermind" :-)

Derek McGovern

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Oct 24, 2013, 2:38:13 AM10/24/13
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Ha! I knew the mother-in-law question would throw a few people. That particular actress, by the way, was a huge Lanza admirer---but I won't identify her now, as I don't want to give the answer away :)

I see that someone just scored 100%; I'll be most impressed if that was the person's first go!

Cheers
Derek

P.S. Don't forget to vote on the best/worst 1959 album poll! That should be a bit less taxing :) 

efran...@gmail.com

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Oct 22, 2013, 3:58:48 PM10/22/13
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Thank you Derek for this challenging test.  I passed but realize the many gaps in my knowledge.  It is worth a refresher course and re-reading Armando's book.  Congratulations on your creativity and splendid imagination.  I enjoyed this exercise.  Warm best wishes, Emilio

Derek McGovern

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Oct 22, 2013, 8:51:27 PM10/22/13
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Ciao Emilio: Good on you for participating! And don't worry about gaps in your knowledge; I suspect some of these questions would baffle even one or two of Lanza's biographers :) But they're meant to be fun, as well as informative.

The second quiz is definitely the more difficult of the two---judging from results so far---with the highest score achieved still 73%, or 22 out of 30. (That person I mentioned earlier who scored 100% did so on his second attempt!)

Saluti
Derek 

Lou

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Oct 23, 2013, 2:09:31 AM10/23/13
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The would-be-mother-in-law question was a no-brainer for me as you had written about her and her daughter in one of your posts. As a whole, though, I found this second quiz much tougher than the first. My score of 57%  was a pleasant surprise, considering that many of my answers were just wild guesses.  I love the quote in Question No. 23. I didn't know Lanza had ever said anything about that singer. Later can you please put the quote in context? I can't find it in Armando's book.   

Derek McGovern

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Oct 23, 2013, 3:02:05 AM10/23/13
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Hi Lou: 57% is pretty good! The average score on the second quiz has been 55%, so you're ahead of the pack :)

Yes, I knew that I'd written about the mother/mother-in-law coincidence (question #4) on this forum; the same goes for at least two of the questions with quotes, including the one you asked about (#23). So I was playing reasonably fair! If you do a search on this forum on the term "toe-nails," you'll see that the whole article that question #23 comes from has already been posted here. In fact, you commented on it at the time :)  

Cheers
Derek
 

Lou

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Oct 23, 2013, 12:59:54 PM10/23/13
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Well, Derek, what can I say? I did the "toe-nails" search and  found them all -- the quote, the context, and  my comment - just as you said I would. The thing is, I can't remember having read the article nor  made the comment. I should be embarrassed, but I'm not. I'm scared. For if memory loss comes, can Alzheimer's be far behind? (My apologies to Shelley.)

Steff

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Oct 23, 2013, 2:25:16 PM10/23/13
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Hi Derek,
 
I plead guilty to the 73 %. And let me add that it was at about 2 a.m. when I did the quiz!
I had difficulties with the mother-daughter question as I sadly have little knowledge when it comes to actors' names in American films.
And I will never get Mario's height right. This foot/inch thing always drives me crazy and even your additional centimeter details could not help me then. And I was not aware about "Seven Hills of Rome" being based on "Rainy Evening." I rather would have assigned that to a film like "Serenade," but of course "Serenade" was based on the novel of the same name (It was a rainy evening in "For the First Time" too, right at the beginning of the film, correct?)
 
Steff

Steff

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Oct 23, 2013, 2:41:13 PM10/23/13
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This is fantastic, Armando, thank you for posting it!
 
Steff

Derek McGovern

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Oct 23, 2013, 10:05:49 PM10/23/13
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Hi Lou:

I don't think you need to worry about Alzheimer's :) With well over four hundred discussions (comprising thousands of posts), it's nigh on impossible to remember everything that's been written here. And if it's any consolation, I sometimes come across stuff that I've posted of which I have no recollection either :) 

Cheers
Derek

Derek McGovern

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Oct 23, 2013, 10:27:18 PM10/23/13
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Steff wrote: 

I was not aware about "Seven Hills of Rome" being based on "Rainy Evening." I rather would have assigned that to a film like "Serenade," but of course "Serenade" was based on the novel of the same name (It was a rainy evening in "For the First Time" too, right at the beginning of the film, correct?)

Hi Steff: Armando mentions in his book (page 223) that the revised Seven Hills screenplay (which differed markedly from the one Lanza had approved back in the US) was based on a play entitled Sera di Pioggia (Rainy Evening) by Giuseppe Armato. 

Yes, I was sure that people would think the answer was For the First Time because of its opening scene in the rain! But, perhaps surprisingly, That Midnight Kiss has been the most common (incorrect) answer to that question so far, despite the complete lack of rain in that film :)  

Without wishing to give away any more answers here, the most difficult questions in the second quiz so far have been:

  • How many Lanza films were nominated for (American) Academy Awards?
  • Which Lanza film screenplay was the tenor referring to when he stated, “Perhaps with a better script my acting might improve!”?
  • Which of these gifted American celebrities was among seventy invited guests when Lanza was awarded a standing ovation for his performance of the Serenade from The Merry Wives of Windsor in 1943?
  • What aria is featured (in one form or another) in more Lanza films than any other?
  • What was the final Lanza album released during the tenor’s lifetime?
  • Which of Mario Lanza’s female co-stars was reported as having “nothing but compliments about him,” finding him both “very easy to work with and very cooperative”? 
  • In one of his films, Lanza sings this particular aria, while in another film his character is unfamiliar with the same piece. What is the aria?
  • In one of Lanza’s films, the woman who played his *would-be mother-in-law* was the daughter of an actress who played his *mother* in another of his movies. In a further parent-child coincidence, the same two movies were each co-written by members of the same family: another woman and her daughter. What are the two films?
And the only question that every participant so far has answered correctly? "Which conductor said to Lanza, “Yours is a voice such as is heard once in a hundred years”?


Cheers
Derek

Derek McGovern

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Nov 1, 2013, 8:42:41 AM11/1/13
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We have another Lanza quiz: our third:


As always, have fun, and then come back here to tell us how you got on (if you dare!).


Barnabas Nemeth

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Nov 2, 2013, 4:39:54 AM11/2/13
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I have scored 40%. Well, ... not too much. It was difficult.
 
Barnabas



norma

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Nov 2, 2013, 1:45:13 PM11/2/13
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I scored 43%.They are getting harder but I'm learning more and more.
Norma Thanks.

Derek McGovern

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Nov 3, 2013, 1:35:35 AM11/3/13
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Hi Norma: 43% is not bad! The average score hasn't been much higher---and certainly no one has got all the answers right yet. The highest score to date is 87% (26/30) and the lowest is 7%.

These have been the most incorrectly answered questions so far:

  • Which Hollywood star was reported in September 1954 as saying of Lanza: "I don't care if he is fat. He has a great voice, and it should be heard."?

  • In which Italian city was it reported that RCA had been planning to record Lanza in a series of complete operas?

  • Numerous possible film roles for Lanza were mentioned in the US press in the 1950s. Which of the following parts was NEVER mentioned? (Marco Polo/Faust/singing cowboy/singing pirate)

  • As a birthday present to which singer did Lanza perform music from Puccini's Madama Butterfly with Kathryn Grayson at an MGM gathering in July 1948, earning plaudits from the recipient for his thrilling singing and "magnificent voice"?

  • How many of Mario Lanza's *albums* (not singles) were certified "gold"---that is, they sold more than a million copies?

norma

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Nov 3, 2013, 10:14:08 AM11/3/13
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Derek,Was "The Great Caruso" the other film that Mario' parents were in ? If so In which scene?
Thanks Norma

Derek McGovern

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Nov 3, 2013, 11:44:35 PM11/3/13
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Hi Norma: Yes, it was The Great Caruso. You can see them in the scene in which Ann Blyth sings "Loveliest Night of the Year."

They're seated at the table on the left in this screenshot from the movie:

(Click on the above to enlarge)


Cheers,

Derek 

Derek McGovern

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Nov 3, 2013, 11:46:15 PM11/3/13
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Correction to the above: Of course, I meant that Mario's parents are seated on the right in the above photo! The grey-haired gentleman is Antonio, and the woman on his left is Maria.

Derek McGovern

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Nov 3, 2013, 11:52:01 PM11/3/13
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P.S. While on the topic of The Great Caruso, it still frustrates me that I haven't managed to locate the scene in which the then-16-year-old George Chakiris (Bernardo in the film version of West Side Story) supposedly appears as a dancer (according to imdb.com).   

norma

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Nov 4, 2013, 8:26:07 AM11/4/13
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Dear Derek, Thanks.

Norma

Lou

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Nov 4, 2013, 10:33:19 PM11/4/13
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I scored 67%, higher than I did in the last two quizzes. I'm surprised because I found more stumpers in this quiz than in the last two. The answer to Question #29 was totally unexpected. I guess the greater popularity of the song I chose had thrown me off.

Derek McGovern

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Nov 4, 2013, 10:49:45 PM11/4/13
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Hi Lou: That's a great result. Way above average!

The correct answer for #29 is tricky, as there are a surprising seven Lanza versions of the song in question, as opposed to just three of the one you (presumably) selected :) 

Thanks for participating! (And I'm already working on Quiz #4!)

Cheers
Derek

Lou

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Nov 5, 2013, 4:41:19 AM11/5/13
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Hi Derek:  Seven versions! I thought there was only that gorgeous reading on the Encore CD. I checked the Discography on the main site just now, and was surprised to see that the song is also on That Midnight Kiss soundtrack. I don't recall hearing it there though I've watched the movie a number of times. These quizzes are really great learning and memory-jogging opportunities! One other thing that took me by surprise is Question #22, re Lanza's "eccentric habit of going around nude" (emphasis mine). Nude, as in, in his birthday clothes? Shocking if true! Question #22 does indicate there's some "exaggeration" here. Was the opera singer (I guessed the name correctly) who made the comment speaking as an eyewitness?

Cheers,
Lou

Derek McGovern

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Nov 5, 2013, 6:18:03 AM11/5/13
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Hi Lou: Glad you're enjoying these quizzes. It's fun highlighting things that people may not be aware of (or reminding them about a tantalizing piece of trivia they'd long forgotten). 

The person who made that claim about Lanza supposedly going around in the nude didn't say whether he was ever present for the privilege. But I'm quite sure he wasn't, just as I'm equally sure it was an exaggeration of a second- or third-hand report. While we all know that Lanza was uninhibited, I've never come across any other account of visitors to the Villa Badoglio being surprised by a completely naked tenor :)  

What's much more likely is that the vocal coach in question, Annibale Bizzelli, who was highly eccentric himself (if Peter Ustinov is to be believed), objected to Lanza singing in his boxer shorts or similar garments. But it was probably summer, and therefore very hot at the villa! 

In any event, the coach who (presumably) replaced Bizzelli---Franco Zauli---had only the fondest memories of Lanza when Armando interviewed him, and certainly said nothing about the tenor being semi-clad or even unclad during their sessions.   

Cheers,
Derek

leeann

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Nov 5, 2013, 9:51:31 AM11/5/13
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Hi, Lou, These are so much fun, and you're absolutely right about the memory joggers and learning! And sometimes--getting the answer  by process of elimination or just a plain lucky guess. :)

My favorite question--and I don't know anything about the context, but I loved the mental image--was the quote about his wish to sing incognito in opera houses around [a] country (presumably fully dressed).  Lee Ann

Lou

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Nov 6, 2013, 5:56:37 AM11/6/13
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Hi Lee Ann: I haven't read the 1952 article referred to in the quiz, but the quote (except there's no mention of Lanza's singing under his real name) can be read in context in "Chapter 15 - An Operatic Career?" of Armando's book. I think it's one of the most intelligent, serious, and humble statements made by Lanza in connection with his dream of an operatic career.

Cheers,
Lou .

Derek McGovern

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Nov 6, 2013, 6:43:15 AM11/6/13
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Hi Lou and Lee Ann: The context of Lanza's statement was an article he wrote in 1952 titled "My Suppressed Desires" (a favourite expression of his, incidentally). The punctuation is left as Lanza employed it :)

Here's the full quote:

My suppressed desire to sing in grand opera remains suppressed at my own wish, because I know, myself, that I am not sufficiently prepared vocally. I have sung in film excerpts from opera. Actually back in 1946 when I was twenty-five, I was flabbergasted at receiving an offer to sing at the Met. Flattered as I was, I declined. They may have figured that I was ready, but inside I knew I wasn't. When I walk onto the stage of the Met there can be nothing but suitability! I don't want to pick up the papers the next morning and find bad reviews.

To be very confidential, before I tackle the Met, I want to succeed in singing at La Scala, the most famous opera house in Italy. The invitation to sing there is a frightening compliment. Before I accept it, this is my plan: when this new picture [The Student Prince] is finished, I am going to sing in key cities on a concert tour. Then right after Christmas, I want to go to Italy! I'd like to play the small town opera houses first, sing a variety of roles to opera addicts under my real name of Alfredo Cocozza. I should work up in opera. You can't build a voice or a love or even a friendship on anything less than a solid foundation. Only then will I finally be able to say: Yes, thank you. 

Vincent Di Placido

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Nov 6, 2013, 5:49:51 PM11/6/13
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Oh! It sounds like a great plan, if he had had a smooth time making "The Student Prince" everything changes, it is absolutely the key moment in his career after the 1947 Hollywood Bowl appearance.
But if Mario appears in "The Student Prince" it is a big hit, I would love to think that Mario in the right frame of mind would have gone through with that plan or even a version of it...
(Mario puncuates almost as badly as me...)

leeann

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Nov 6, 2013, 6:23:38 PM11/6/13
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The punctuation, seems, perfectly fine, to me. Lee Ann :-)

Lou

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Nov 7, 2013, 11:34:56 AM11/7/13
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Hi Lee Ann: Perhaps a very mild case of "comma trauma" in the first sentence? :)  I'd say you are right in presuming that had Lanza been able to carry out his plan to sing incognito in small opera houses in Italy, he would have done so fully dressed,  given that Eurotrash had not yet been invented at that time.

Cheers,
Lou

Derek McGovern

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Nov 7, 2013, 9:26:00 PM11/7/13
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Vince wrote:

Oh! It sounds like a great plan, if he had had a smooth time making "The Student Prince" everything changes, it is absolutely the key moment in his career after the 1947 Hollywood Bowl appearance.

Couldn't agree more! And it's worth noting that this article (which really does read as though it were penned by Lanza, and not by a press agent) isn't the only published piece from that year about planned performances in Italy after making The Student Prince. I think Lanza was in the right frame of mind in the spring of 1952. Because You're Mine was behind him, he was in the best physical shape of his life (look at the photos taken between January and April of that year), and he'd never sounded better. While I can't see the incognito idea working out---how could that be kept secret?!---the idea of performing in smaller towns and cities in Italy would have given him some much-needed confidence. 

There wouldn't have been time for a concert tour in "key [US] cities" before the Christmas of 1952, though, as in all likelihood filming of The Student Prince wouldn't have finished until December.  But certainly there would have been a window in the first half of 1953 for appearances in Italy. Whether they would have been concerts rather than appearances in opera is another matter, though, as Mario would have needed time to prepare. Although he had already learned at least seven roles, he would still have needed to work on them. I could see him performing, say, Canio or Cavaradossi, but not multiple or longer parts.       

Had The Student Prince gone ahead, the only thing that makes me wonder whether Mario's operatic plans would again have been delayed is the arrival of son Damon in December 1952. I'm pretty sure the articles about going to Italy pre-date Betty's discovery that she was expecting. It's hard to imagine the family travelling around Italy together with a baby, especially with the amount of concentration Mario would have needed!

Oh well. It's fun to hypothesize on these things :)   

Cheers,
Derek  

 

Derek McGovern

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Nov 9, 2013, 4:39:17 AM11/9/13
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A fourth quiz is now available for your enjoyment:


Have fun! 

Derek McGovern

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Nov 10, 2013, 12:31:03 AM11/10/13
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Results so far suggest our latest quiz may be the most difficult yet, with an average score of 48% (and 70% the highest score to date). But don't let that put you off participating! There's some intriguing and little-known stuff in this fourth quiz that will hopefully inspire further discussion...

Cheers,
Derek  

Michael McAdam

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Nov 10, 2013, 10:40:28 AM11/10/13
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Hey....guess I'm not a bona-fide Lanza expert. Scored only 57% (at least I passed! ;-)
I like your alternate answer choices, Derek. At least one is always close to the correct answer in nearly every question. Very clever.
 
M.

On Sunday, October 13, 2013 4:35:01 AM UTC-3, Derek McGovern wrote:
Vince's posting the other day of a contestant's performance on the British Mastermind whose specialty was Mario Lanza has inspired me to create my own Lanza quiz:


There are thirty questions of varying difficulty, all with multiple-choice answers. Take the quiz, and then let us know how you got on!    

Derek McGovern

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Nov 10, 2013, 11:00:20 AM11/10/13
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57% is a pretty good score, Mike! And thanks for the kind comments about my sneaky alternate choices.

Should the mood take you again, we now have three more quizzes available here:

Cheers
Derek

leeann

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Nov 10, 2013, 7:12:05 PM11/10/13
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Derek, the images with each of these quizzes have been gorgeous, so beautifully fine-tuned without misrepresenting the original. But possibly the black and white images with Quiz Four--well, the clarity, the light and shadows--the people in them are expressive and active but so beautifully captured and frozen in a moment. Lee Ann

Savage

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Nov 10, 2013, 8:56:55 PM11/10/13
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Finally got a score that I can mention. A 57 on quiz number four. The quizzes are challenging and educational. Bravo, Derek!

leeann

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Nov 10, 2013, 11:25:57 PM11/10/13
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I am happy to join the most excellent company of David and Mike with a stellar 57 percent. I knew a couple and missed them anyway; I had lucky guesses on others. It balanced.

I had no idea about the lead vocalist from a famous vocal group and would love to know more about the story behind that.

Wanted to know more about Lanza's music instruction at Philadelphia High School.

I didn't know that Humphrey Bogart had ever commented on Lanza's work. And did he say more?

And I think it's time to reread Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy, which I notice is at the #80 spot on amazon in the United Kingdom and #71 in the US in its classical and opera categories at this moment.  One of the many things I appreciate about Armando's book is that so much documented information is packed into such a readable work that merits re-visiting, both as a great read and as a research source. Lee Ann




Derek McGovern

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Nov 11, 2013, 12:20:12 AM11/11/13
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Well done, David and Lee Ann! Those 57%s of yours, plus someone else's 70%---still the highest score so far---have helped push up the average score to 51% for Quiz #4

The most difficult questions to date? 

So far no one has answered #18 correctly---the question about identifying who was never Mario Lanza's manager. (I'll have to provide a photo of the person whom everyone keeps incorrectly selecting as this non-manager :)) Other questions that have proven tricky (for almost everyone):

  • The Humphrey Bogart quote (#17) in reference to a certain Lanza screenplay (the complete quote, by the way, was: "You should have held out, kid. This is crap.")  
  • The "Who was Danny Plotnick, and what did he do for Lanza?" question (#13)
  • The city in which the final screenplay of Serenade specified was to be the beginning of the movie (#25)
  • The identity of the person who blamed Lanza's insecurity about his acting for his non-appearance in The Student Prince (#16)
  • The identity of the person who tried to teach Lanza a certain instrument, and then later sang with him in an opera (#29)
For more information about Danny Plotnick, the Student Prince acting question, and the hilarious story about the vocalist from a certain famous group whom Lanza wanted to appear in Serenade, all is revealed in Lanza and the Press: Features :)  In fact, there's a wealth of fascinating stuff that's been added recently to that and other Lanza and the Press sections. 

Thanks for your comments about the photos accompanying quiz #4, Lee Ann. I just love choosing pictures!

Cheers,
Derek 

Michael McAdam

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Nov 12, 2013, 8:27:53 PM11/12/13
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Not sure if these responses are showing up in the correct part of the thread? Anyway, 53% on the fourth quiz is a pass.....barely! ;-)
Mike

Derek McGovern

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Nov 12, 2013, 8:25:29 PM11/12/13
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Hi Mike: A pass is still a pass! :) Besides, your score was above average!

I have a few devilish questions lined up for Quiz #5, but it'll be some weeks away yet. My priority right now is an article on the current sad state of the Lanza discography---and what can be done about it! 

Cheers,
Derek


Lou

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Nov 14, 2013, 10:59:10 PM11/14/13
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This was a tough one! I got 50%, my lowest score so far despite the fact that I had re-read Armando's book just before taking the quiz. Of the six most difficult questions cited by Derek, I correctly answered only the two that are in Armando's book. I was most surprised by the answer to the "Danny" Plotnick question . Looking forward to Quiz #5. 

Cheers,
Lou

Derek McGovern

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Dec 7, 2013, 11:48:48 PM12/7/13
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Quiz #5 is now up! Have fun, and let us know how you got on!


Cheers,
Derek

Barnabas Nemeth

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Dec 8, 2013, 1:33:10 AM12/8/13
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Well, I have reached 40%, not too much. Some parts of the questions were difficult... Barnabas


2013/12/8 Derek McGovern <derek.m...@gmail.com>

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Derek McGovern

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Dec 8, 2013, 5:52:50 AM12/8/13