Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Ezio Pinza (May 18, 1892-May 9, 1957)

Ezio Fortunato Pinza was one of the greatest bass-baritones ever and an early barihunk. Many young singers today still mention him as an inspiration.

It is said that Pinza's father insisted that he give up civil engineering to become an opera singer. He switched careers, studying at the Conservatory of Bologna, with a three-year stint at La Scala in Milan. His New York debut at the Met was in 1926 where he sang bass until 1949. He then launched a third career, starring on Broadway in "South Pacific", leading to roles in records, radio, movies, and television.

Here he is later in life after he crossed over into movies and Broadway. Here he's singing to Lana Turner.

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