- The Premier Italian American Newspaper Since 1931 -
Mario Lanza (1921-1959), US tenor and actor, wearing a black jacket, white shirt and white bow tie in a studio portrait, against blue background, circa 1950. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
On Sunday, November 3, family and fans of the late great tenor Mario Lanza will gather at the Double Tree Hotel on Broad Street in Philadelphia to pay tribute to the legendary singer. The event, which caps an entire weekend of festivities, is a fundraiser conducted by the Mario Lanza Institute to help perpetuate Lanza’s dream of aiding young aspiring opera singers through scholarships. To date, the Institute has awarded over 270 scholarships. This year, the Lanza Institute has again partnered with the Coccia Foundation, which is sponsoring the second-place scholarship.
On Saturday, November 2, beginning at 6:30 pm at the Mario Lanza Museum, located at 1214 Reed Street in Philadelphia, there will be a special screening of Mario Lanza’s first film, “That Midnight Kiss,” followed by a reception. On Sunday, November 3, the Mario Lanza Ball begins with a cocktail hour at 5:00 pm and will include the Mario Lanza Scholarship Competition winner’s concert, two video presentations, a memorial award ceremony and tribute to the late Frank Tenaglia, plus dinner and dancing to the Tony Dee Orchestra.
Frank Tenaglia was a gifted tenor who was inspired by Mario Lanza and is the only singer to have won a Mario Lanza Scholarship three times. He, like Lanza, was from south Philadelphia and performed to standing ovations throughout the United States and Europe.
Mario Lanza was an ambassador for all good music. Through his films, concerts, recordings, radio show and television appearances, he brought great enjoyment to all who experienced his wonderful and exciting talent and introduced many to the world of opera for the very first time.
Tickets for the screening of “That Midnight Kiss” at the Lanza Museum are $20 per person and seating is limited. Tickets for the Mario Lanza Ball are $165 per person. To order tickets, contact the Mario Lanza Institute at 215-238-9691 or email: [email protected]. You may also visit the web site at www.mariolanzainstitute.org.