The time is almost here. We suspect from Gianluca’s tweet that they will be leaving for The US tomorrow. We’ll be so glad to have them back!! We know they are singing in the concert with Laura Pausini on 3/6 and then going to LA. We have no info yet on any public appearances in LA. We will keep you informed as soon as we know ANYTHING!!
Do you remember Ezio Pinza and his fabulous voice? My all time favorite was “Some Enchanted Evening” from the Broadway play “South Pacific” Pinza opened in that play with Mary Martin in 1949.
Ezio Pinza (May 18, 1892 – May 9, 1957) was an Italian opera singer. A bass with a rich, smooth and sonorous voice, he spent 22 seasons at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, appearing in more than 750 performances of 50 operas. Pinza also sang to great acclaim at La Scala, Milan, and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.
After retiring from the Met in 1948, Pinza enjoyed a fresh career on Broadway in the musical theatre and also appeared in several Hollywood films.
Pinza was born in modest circumstances in Rome in 1892 and grew up on Italy’s east coast, in the ancient city of Ravenna. He studied singing at Bologna’s Conservatorio Martini, making his operatic debut in 1914, as Oroveso in Norma at Cremona.
Pinza was a devotee of bicycle racing. He also undertook four years of military service during World War I, prior to resuming his operatic career in Rome in 1919. He was then invited to sing at Italy’s foremost opera house, La Scala, Milan, making his debut there in February 1922. At La Scala, under the direction of the brilliant and exacting principal conductor Arturo Toscanini, Pinza’s career blossomed during the course of the next few seasons. He became a popular favourite of critics and audiences due to the high quality of his singing and the attractiveness of his stage presence.
Pinza’s Metropolitan Opera debut occurred in November 1926 in Spontini’s La vestale, with famed American soprano Rosa Ponselle in the title role. In 1929, he sang Don Giovanni, a role with which he was subsequently to become closely identified. He subsequently added the Mozart roles Figaro (in 1940) and Sarastro (in 1942) to his repertoire, a vast number of Italian operatic roles of Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi, and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (sung in Italian).
Pinza sang once again under the baton of Toscanini in 1935, this time with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, as the bass soloist in performances of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. One of these performances was broadcast by CBS and preserved on transcription discs; this recording has been issued on LPs and CDs. He also sang in the February 6, 1938, NBC Symphony Orchestra’s broadcast performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. These performances both took place in Carnegie Hall. In March 1942 he was arrested and detained 3 months on Ellis Island with hundreds of other Italo Americans who were suspected of supporting the Axis.
Pinza’s repertoire consisted of some 95 classical roles. He retired from the Met in 1948 and embarked on a second career in Broadway musicals. In April 1949, he appeared in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, originating the role of French Planter Emil de Becque, and his operatic-style, highly expressive performance of the hit song “Some Enchanted Evening” made him a matinée idol and a national celebrity. In 1950, he received a Tony Award for best lead actor in a musical.
Pinza had sung opposite many celebrated singers at the Met during his heyday. They included, among others, such international stars as Amelita Galli-Curci, Rosa Ponselle, Elisabeth Rethberg, Giovanni Martinelli, Beniamino Gigli, Lawrence Tibbett, Giuseppe De Luca,and Salvatore Baccaloni. An interesting bit of trivia is the fact that all the water fountains at the new Metropolitan Opera House (Lincoln Center) are dedicated to him.
Pinza died May 9, 1957, of a stroke at the age of 64 in Stamford, Connecticut. His funeral was held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. He is interred at Putnam Cemetery, in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Pinza was born in Rome, but grew up in Ravenna, Italy. Here is a short history of this ancient city.
Ravenna (Romagnol: Ravêna) is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until that empire collapsed in 476. It then served as the capital of the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths until it was conquered in 540 by the Byzantine Empire\. Afterwards, the city formed the centre of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Franks in 751, after which it became the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards.
Although an inland city, Ravenna is connected to the Adriatic Sea by the Candiano Canal. It is the location of 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
We wait anxiously for Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca to come back. We also wait to hear the remainder of their concert schedule. As soon as we know it will be posted here.
Have a good flight Guys, Love and Luck, Linda