Hello Mr. Jeff Rense,

First of all my sincere compliments for your site dedicated to Mario Lanza. My father, Michelangelo Verso, is an Italian Lyric Tenor and we are of course great fans of Mario Lanza. I grew up listening various records of all kinds of tenors and I must say that the impact of Mario was great on me.

My father was selected by Beniamino Gigli to sing in his own concert at the Teatro Massimo of Palermo in 1949, and presented as a lyric tenor of great promise. He made a modest career in many conutries at that time and also sang at the Pittsburgh Opera and recorded many records for Fonit, Cetra and Columbia. He also knew and met personally Mr. Enrico Rosati, the teacher of Gigli. My father's opinion (also mine) is that Mario Lanza had the most beautiful voice ever heard and that he was one of those rare singers who sang with all the heart and soul. Every word and phrase need the correct interpretation to reach the audience and Lanza did it. Today there is lack of interpretation of many lyric singers and in that way they will never be able to reach and move the audience.

My father always sang with his heart and soul and that is the reason why we love so much Mario Lanza because he gave everything he had to the audience and that makes an artist great and unforgettable over times.

If you wish, I invite you to visit my humble Homepage dedicated to my father, the Tenor Michelangelo Verso, at:


where you can read about his biography and see many photos never pubblished before of: Beniamino Gigli, Giuseppe di Stefano, Maria Caniglia etc., together with my father. If you have any questions of comments please E-mail me, it shall be our honour.

Our best regards,

Michelangelo Verso & Jr.

Dear Mr. Rense,
First I want to thank you for this Mario Lanza Site it is a breath of fresh air to find other people so enamored with Mario.
As a teenager I was into the big bands of my time and no other music especially opera was important. I was also a part time musician playing a saxophone. However I do not know how it happened but I went to see one of my idols Gene Krupa here in New York at the now defunct Strand theater. At that time there was a stage show and a movie. Well after the stage show was over they played this movie THAT MIDNIGHT kISS". Since we wanted to get our moneys worth and see the stage show again my friends and I hung on to see this movie. The rest is history Mario singlehandley converted me in one picture to an avid opera lover who has most all of the contemporary opera singers recordings at present. However when I want to enjoy myself and listen to music I always play mario. His technique (?) may not have been flawless but he is musical and his voice is very broad not stilted by training. You can pick out Marios singing easily. Other tenors though good, sound all of the same as if they went to the same teacher.
My kid brother also fell in love with Mario however never saw him in person as well I have never seen him in person. But my brother seeked out contemporary opera singers. I have a nice picture of my brother with Richard Tucker. Unfortunately my kid brother is with Mario passing away at a young age.
Keep up the good work and keep pushing Mario I am sick of these opera lovers who discount Mario because he was a movie hero not a full fledged opera singer but had he lived in good health he probably would have appeared at La Scala after his last proposed movie.
Good luck,

P.S. Indeed, I still admire Mario and listen to him almost constantly I cannot believe he has been gone almost 40 years. Every time I listen to him I wish I did know him so I could give him a swift kick in the pants for living life the way he did and taking a talent away from the whole world. Who knows how far he could have gone with some further training. According to one biography I read Mario could have blown away the then reigning tenors Mario Del Monaco and Jussi Bjoerling with no problems.