A MOVIE STAR IS BORN! and he sings OPERA!!!
Starring MARIO LANZA and KATHRYN GRAYSON
That Midnight Kiss” (1949) was Mario Lanza’s first movie. It is the first of two movies he made with Kathryn Grayson who to her dying day* remained a great friend of the Lanza family. Like all Lanza movies, it showcased his famous tenor voice. In this first film, he sang popular songs as well as opera arias, such as “Celeste Aida” from Verdi’s Aida and “Una furtiva lagrima” from Donizetti’s Elisir d’amore (video excerpts below). To MGM’s surprise, the movie was a hit. There was no need to call him “a singing Clark Gable.” MARIO LANZA was a winner!
“The Toast of New Orleans” (1950) was his next movie, also with Kathryn Grayson. The song from this movie Be My Love became America’s favorite song hit. It broke all sales records, selling over–1 million copies in one year! Here again, Mario Lanza sang arias such as the “Flower Song” (from Bizet’s Carmen), O Paradis (from Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine), M’apparai (from Flutow’s Martha) and the duet from Act 1 of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (video excerpt below).
Watch some scenes from Mario Lanza’s movies with Kathryn Grayson:
Una Furtiva Lagrima – L’Elisir d’Amore -Donizetti – Mario Lanza
Mario Lanza, from 1949, has an audition!
Celeste Aïda – Mario Lanza! That Midnight Kiss!
From Verdi’s Aïda, a superb rendition by a very young Mr. Lanza! An elegant accompanying cast; Kathryn Grayson, Ethel Barrymore, Jules Munshin, and Keenan Wynn.
DISCLAIMER: All rights reserved to the production companies and music labels that distributed and produced the music and performance respectively. I’ve only added the footage as a tribute for historical, entertainment, and creative purposes with no financial gain. Copyright infringement not intended.
Please consider purchasing this beautiful piece here:
Mario Lanza-Madama Butterfly
Mario Lanza ,,,,,,,,
* Kathryn Grayson passed away on February 27, 2010 at her home in Los Angeles, California. She was 88 (b. February 9, 1922).