Friday, November 16, 2018

A Little light Music to Enjoy the Afternoon - Featuring Ezio Pinza - Narrative from Bravo! by Guy Graybill

South Pacific - Tony Award!

Enzio Pinza (1892-1957, bass)

Ezio Pinza, a native of Rome, was born into a poor family. He considered two other professions--civil engineering or cycle racing--before setting on a singing career. Pinza's singing debut came when he was in his early 20's; but he is remembered, today, for the work he did while in his fifties.

His debut occurred in 1914 in Bellini's Norma in the Lombardy town of Soncino. Later, after military service in the First World War, he returned to singing. Ezio Pinza sang at La Scala
from 1922 and at the Met from 1926 until 1948. As the best-known bass singer of his day, Pinza sang all of opera's major Italian bass roles.

The total singing roles that he mastered were said to be near the hundred mark. His professional and personal reputations were both built on his role as the title libertine of Mozart's Don Giovanni...

During his frequent tours, from city to city and country to country, Pinza was reported to be steadily rehearsing Don Giovanni's behavior while away from the theatre.

Among Ezio Pinza's favorite roles was that of the title character in Modest Musorgsly's Boris Godunov, a role he insisted on singing in Italian, even when the rest of the cast was singing the English version!

When he was 56 years old, ancient by some standards, he moved out of the Metropolitan Opera House and onto Broadway, to star in a lead in South Pacific, for which he won a Tony award. 

He also appeared in another play, Fanny, as well as in operettas and motion pictures. 

One is left to wonder how successful he might have been if he had every learned to read music...


Many thanks to Guy Graybill, for allowing me to feature individual artists who appear in his book, Bravo!

His latest novel is... 

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