The Off-Topic Chat Thread (2021-2022)

163 views
Skip to first unread message

Derek McGovern

unread,
Feb 6, 2021, 10:00:11 PM2/6/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
Please use this thread for any miscellaneous posts not related to Mario Lanza. This is the ideal thread for posting greetings, exchanging general chit-chat, or for making comments on non-Lanza-related topics that are unlikely to extend beyond more than a few posts.

(Members are welcome, of course, to create separate discussion threads for non-Lanza-related topics that they feel are likely to spark a full-on conversation.)

For miscellaneous Lanza-related comments and/or questions, please post on this thread:

Steff Walzinger

unread,
Feb 14, 2021, 10:59:00 AM2/14/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
Since it is Valentine's Day today, I wanted to post this wonderful quote from a letter which Enrico Caruso wrote to his love and  mother of his two sons, Ada Giachetti:

"Don’t you realise, my love, that I’d give my life to have you near me, to hold you in my arms, to get drunk with you on the crazy joy of happiness, of love?" (Enrico Caruso, October 1897)

As some of you might have read, Christie's auctioneers is offering private papers of the tenor for sale, and this quote is from one of those treasures.


Steff


Peter Danish

unread,
Feb 14, 2021, 12:22:38 PM2/14/21
to mario...@googlegroups.com
These are amazing!

My late Godfather, Michele Sisca (who was a good friend of Lanza's) had ALL of Caruso's sketches - he was a wonderful cartoonist!   I wonder where they are now - and what they are worth!!!

-Peter


--
To reply to this message, please go to: https://groups.google.com/g/mariolanza
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Mario Lanza, Tenor" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to mariolanza+...@googlegroups.com.
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/mariolanza/faeabe76-064b-4b7c-979f-2c7be3409fbao%40googlegroups.com.

Vincent Di Placido

unread,
Apr 27, 2021, 5:37:33 AM4/27/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
Giuseppe Di Stefano is one of my favourite singers. This is a wee film I made to celebrate his centenary year, which he shares with Mario Lanza.

Pippo.jpg

Steff Walzinger

unread,
Aug 2, 2021, 8:18:08 AM8/2/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
Remembering the great Italian tenor ENRICO CARUSO on his 100th anniversary of death.
(25 February 1873 - 2 August 1921)

"I know that I shall sing only a certain number of times. So I think to myself, "Tonight I will hold back my voice. 
I will save it a little and that will mean I may be able to sing a few more times." But when I go before the audience,
when I hear the music and begin to sing, I cannot hold back. I give the best there is in me - I give all."
(Photo: Caruso with his sons, "Mimmi" and "Fofò," 1910)

Steff
Gatti Casazza on EC, 3 August 1921.JPG
s-l1600 (10).jpg
Caruso, vision of death.JPG

Steff Walzinger

unread,
Aug 2, 2021, 9:10:45 AM8/2/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor

"I think if I don't work anymore [...]  we will go in my, our, country and

we will have good time without be nervous every moment! I am looking for 

this day! You can imagine how glad I will be when I have not to think about

my voice! Hope God let me arrived at such day and then my happiness will

be comblet." (From "Enrico Caruso - His Life and Death," by Dorothy Caruso).


"Ich glaube, wir werden, wenn ich nicht mehr arbeite, in meine - in unsere-

Heimat zurückkehren und dort ein angenehmes Leben führen, ohne jeden

Augenblick nervös sein zu müssen. Ich sehne mich schon nach diesem Tage

und hoffe, dass Gott ihn mich erleben lässt. Dann werde ich auf dem Höhe-

punkt meines Glückes sein." (Enrico Caruso - Quelle: Dorothy Caruso, 

Erinnerungen, 1929.

Caruso, edition momente, Caruso.JPG

Steff Walzinger

unread,
Aug 2, 2021, 9:13:19 AM8/2/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
From gettyimages.
Enrico Caruso jokes and has fun with family and friends in Naples, Italy, in 1921.mp4

Steff Walzinger

unread,
Aug 2, 2021, 9:14:18 AM8/2/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
From gettyimages
Enrico Caruso returns to New York City in 1917 after long tour, getty.mp4

Derek McGovern

unread,
Aug 2, 2021, 9:39:49 AM8/2/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
Many thanks for sharing those moving words from Caruso, Steff, and the newsreel clips. (One would never think he was so close to death in the video of him joking around in Naples in 1921!

Speaking of videos, here's a news item about the restoration of Caruso's 1918 silent film, My Cousin, which has been synchronized with his actual singing:


Derek 

On Monday, August 2, 2021 at 10:14:18 PM UTC+9 Steff Walzinger wrote:
From gettyimages

Steff Walzinger

unread,
Aug 2, 2021, 10:23:36 AM8/2/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
Hi Derek,

Yes, I heard/read about this project the other day, and this is absolutely fascinating!
However, I was very surprised to hear the lady say, "we discovered the film existed" and comment on top of that, that not many, not even Caruso fans, would have been
aware of its existence. The film has been even on you-tube (poor quality) for about a decade:


Speaking of Caruso as a movie actor, I wonder if his second silent film, "The Splendid Romance," (Paramount, 1919), is really lost for posterity forever:

"According to the 19 April 1918 Variety, a representative of opera star Enrico Caruso was soliciting offers from motion picture companies for the singer’s U.S. screen debut. His minimum salary requirement was $75,000 per film.
Nearly five months later, the 14 September 1918 Moving Picture World announced that Caruso had begun his second production for Artcraft Pictures, provisionally titled Prince Cosimo. Principal photography took place the Famous Players-Lasky Studio on Fifty-sixth Street in New York City. Casting had reportedly not yet been completed. An article in the 21 September 1918 Moving Picture World stated that filming was in its third week and ahead of schedule. As noted in the 12 October 1918 Motion Picture News, the company devoted two days to exterior shots at the Flagler Estate in Greenwich, CT. Actress Charlotte Ives appeared in a “vampire role.”
The close of production on 24 September 1918 was announced in the next day’s edition of Wid’s Daily. After taking final location shots during the previous weekend in Larchmont, NY, Caruso held a “farewell dinner” for the cast, many of whom had appeared with him in his previous Artcraft release, My Cousin (1918, see entry). The 23 November 1918 Motion Picture News later described the event as a luncheon for the entire company. An item in the 18 October 1918 [San Antonio, TX] Light stated that Caruso thanked members of the crew with gifts, including a gold cigarette case for director Edward Jose, a platinum scarf pin for cameraman Hal Young, and a gold match holder for assistant director William J. Scully. Other crew members were given cash bonuses.
A pre-release review in the March 1919 Photo-Play Journal referred to the picture by its official title, The Splendid Romance. Caruso’s character was identified as “Prince Waldo,” Ormi Hawley’s character as Mary Alvin, and Charlotte Ives’s character as “Bettina.” While the name of Caruso’s character is incorrect, the accuracy of the latter two character names could not be verified. The film was released on 1 June 1919, according to the 6 September 1919 Motion Picture News. A Boston Massachusetts opening followed one week later at the Globe Theatre. Paramount studio records, among other sources, claim that the picture was never released in the U.S.
The National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) included this film on its list of Lost U.S. Silent Feature Films as of February 2021 (From: https://catalog.afi.com/ )

Steff
Caruso's second silent film.JPG

Steff Walzinger

unread,
Aug 2, 2021, 10:51:06 AM8/2/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
Incidentally,
nowadays, we might wonder what sense it made for a singer like Caruso to star in a silent film.
A film without hearing his magnificent voice?!! Sounds illogical at first sight.
However, when you read the attached newspaper snippet, it makes indeed sense.  Many people back then
did not have the opportunity and could not afford to see and hear Caruso life on stage. They might only have 
known his voice from records, and might at best have seen a few pictures of him in newspapers. The movie 
was their chance to see him live in action. We have to see things from the "average people's" perspective from
100 years ago - a time without TV, you-tube and smartphones.

Steff
My cousin, good picture.JPG

Steff Walzinger

unread,
Aug 2, 2021, 4:37:32 PM8/2/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
A virtual exhibition about Enrico Caruso, Giuseppe di Stefano and Franco Corelli, starting from today:

"Caruso, Corelli, Di Stefano - Italian Opera Legends."


Steff
La Scala - Digital Exhibition.JPG

Steff Walzinger

unread,
Aug 3, 2021, 7:08:40 AM8/3/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
Here's how Enrico Caruso learned the pronunciation of English songs.

Steff 
Caruso, teaching himself English.JPG

Steff Walzinger

unread,
Aug 3, 2021, 8:04:07 AM8/3/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
I recently spotted this essay by Thomas Burke, "A Musical Night". It was first released in the book, "Nights in London" in 1915.
In it the author tells, among other musical events, about a performance of "La Bohème" with Enrico Caruso, Nellie Melba and Antonio Scotti, under the baton of Cleofonte Campanini (brother of Italo Campanini, who was the predecessor of Jean de Reszke as leading tenor of the Met) at Covent Garden. It was in May 1902, when Caruso made his debut at the opera house as the Duca di Mantova in Verdi's "Rigoletto."

I stumbled over one remark, which I found quite amusing: " We had been so accustomed to the spurious, manufactured voices of people like de Reszke and Tamagno and Maurel, that when the genuine article [Caruso] was placed before us we hardly recognized it. Here was something lovelier than anything that had yet been heard; yet we must needs stop to carp because it was not quite proper. All traditions were smashed, all laws violated, all rules ignored. Jean de Reszke would strain and strain, until his audience suffered with him, in order to produce an effect which this new singer of the South achieved with his hands in his pockets, as he strolled round the stage."

Now, I am sure all of you remember the scene in "The Great Caruso," when Gatti-Casazza, backstage at the Met, asks Caruso to "hold back a little" and to take his hands off his pockets. Caruso's reply is: "„No, Gatti, last time I tried to play the gentleman. I am no gentleman, so I do what you tell me. But today I learned something. America is full of people who sit in the galleries, and I can sing for them. Today I play a man, who is cold, without a penny, and hungry. Up in the galleries they know this man. I know this man, too. He keeps his hands in his pockets, whether the diamond horseshoe likes it or not."

Speaking of Jean de Reszke, this tenor, who was so much different to Caruso in both voice and appearance, once made this wonderful comment to Caruso when the both met in Italy: "This is the boy who will some day turn the world upside down with his voice." Can there be any greater compliment?

Steff

 

Hands in Pockets, TGC.JPG
A Musical Night by Thomas Burke No.1.JPG
A Musical Night by Thomas Burke No.2.JPG

Steff Walzinger

unread,
Sep 14, 2021, 6:01:50 AM9/14/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
"Caro amico ti scrivo" - Omaggio a Enrico Caruso.

What a fantastic idea to celebrate one of the greatest tenors of all times, and I do hope, that many will participate: Write a postcard to Enrico Caruso.


"An invitation to the whole world of music to send a postcard to Enrico Caruso. This is the initiative "Caro amico ti scrivo" (Dear friend, I'm writing to you) carried out by the Associazione Nazionale Case della Memoria (National Association for Houses of Memory) and by the Puccini Festival Foundation to celebrate the great tenor on a date that is not accidental: on September 10, 1896, Enrico Caruso made his debut at the Verdi Theatre in Salerno with the opera I Puritani, followed by other important performances such as La Favorita, Carmen and Il Profeta Velato.

An idea that is part of a wider program gathered under the title 'In the name of Caruso', conceived by the Association - which in its network also embraces Villa Bellosguardo (Lastra a Signa), Caruso's last home - on the occasion of the centenary of his death (2021) and in view of the 150th anniversary of his birth (2023). The first initiative was the exhibition/competition "Caricaruso", which received adhesions from all over the world.

eADV
"Our intention is to pay homage to Enrico Caruso, focusing on lesser-known aspects - explains Adriano Rigoli, president of the Associazione Nazionale Case della Memoria - We began by focusing on his skills as a caricaturist and now we are continuing with his passion for postcards. In this way, we are creating new opportunities of 'discovery' able to enrich the knowledge of a Great of the past".

Enrico Caruso was in fact a great collector of postcards. His interest in the subject coincided with the peak of the fortune of the rectangular card, from the last decades of the 19th century to the early 20th century. It is estimated that in its golden age, roughly 1907 to 1915, postcard production doubled every six months with sales of up to 860 million copies per year.

"Therefore, Caruso's passion is not solitary - adds Marco Capaccioli, vice-president of the Associazione Nazionale Case della Memoria - It takes place in a very crowded context, but it has a distinctive feature. The tenor bought postcards during his travels, he wrote many of them and he received as many. And he kept them, well ordered, in an album. This is why we launch this appeal to the interpreters of the "belcanto". We would also like to thank the Puccini Festival Foundation for its fundamental support".

eADV
The postcards dedicated to Enrico Caruso can be sent by mail, starting September 1, to the address: Caro Enrico ti scrivo, CP 110, Up Lucca Centro, 55100 Lucca (Italy). It is also possible to participate by sending a photo of the sender with a dedication, just like in the past. The photo with dedication to Enrico Caruso can also be sent by email to: car...@casedellamemoria.it. The material that will arrive, will then flow into a traveling exhibition. Info: https://www.casedellamemoria.it/it/nel-nome-di-caruso.html

All the initiatives are held in collaboration with the European Network of Famous People's Houses, and the Puccini Festival Foundation, the Associazión Canaria de Humoristas Gráficos y Caricaturistas with the patronage of the MIC (Ministry of Culture), the National Committee for Caruso's Celebrations, the Campania Region, the Tuscany Region, the Municipality of Lastra a Signa, the Municipality of Lucca, the Municipality of Naples, the Municipality of Viareggio. And with the support of ICOM Italy and the committees ICLCM (International Committee for Literary and Composers' Museums) and CIMCIM (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Instruments and Music).

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

This, for sure, would also have been a brilliant idea to commemorate the 100th birthday of Mario Lanza!

Steff


Nel Nome di Caruso.JPG

Derek McGovern

unread,
Sep 18, 2021, 9:45:29 PM9/18/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
What a sweet idea that postcard campaign is, Steff! Thanks for sharing.

I see that there'll be a live webcast from the School of Music at Cardiff University on September 23 of a discussion on Caruso's voice and recordings and The Great Caruso film:

Caruso at 100: the Legacy of an Operatic Icon - 23rd September 3.30pm -
in-person and live-streamed

The School of Music at Cardiff University in collaboration with CIRO (Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Opera and Drama) and Welsh National Opera is celebrating the centenary of Caruso's death with an afternoon of talks and performance on the 23rd September, starting at 3.30pm. 

'Caruso at 100: the Legacy of an Operatic Icon' will include discussions on Caruso's vocality and recording legacy (Dr Barbara Gentili, Cardiff University), the tenor's book collection (Prof Alexandra Wilson, Oxford Brooks) and the biopic 'The Great Caruso' featuring Mario Lanza in the role of Caruso (Dr Carlo Cenciarelli, Cardiff University). The tenor Adam Gilbert (WNO Associate Artist) will perform arias from Caruso's repertoire accompanied by Lauretta Bloomer.

JOIN THE LIVE STREAMING AT https://cardiff.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=3b50ab58-f78d-41d7-a104-ada400976b0b



Could be interesting!

Cheers,
Derek

Steff Walzinger

unread,
Sep 24, 2021, 6:26:23 AM9/24/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
To All,

The "Caruso at 100" presentation (2 1/2 hours) from the Cardiff University of Music, which took place as a live stream yesterday, can now be re-watched. Just follow the link that Derek mentioned in his post from 19 September.
The presentation by Dr. Carlo Cenciarelli, "Rendering Caruso - Mario Lanza as Reproduction Technology," starts at about 1 hour 35 (don't miss the remark of the hostess, when she makes her introduction to this part of the presentation!!)

Steff
Caruso, Lanza, Cardiff Univ. No.3.JPG
Caruso at 100 Cardiff University School of Music 23 September 2021.JPG
Caruso, Lanza, Cardiff Univ. No.2.JPG
Caruso, Lanza, Cardiff Univ. No.4.JPG
Caruso, Lanza, Cardiff Univ. No.1.JPG

Derek McGovern

unread,
Nov 26, 2021, 11:52:45 PM11/26/21
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
I was saddened to read today of the sudden death of lyricist-composer Stephen Sondheim. Only a couple of months back, I had watched him on Stephen Colbert's Late Show, and marvelled at the man's energy and undiminished creativity for a man of 91. 

It's particularly sad to think that the last remaining member of the trio who created West Side Story in 1957 is now gone, and just a month before the much-anticipated release of Steven Spielberg's remake of the 1961 film version, which looks wonderful in this new featurette:

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages