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Ezio Pinza Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (7)

Overview (3)

Born in Rome, Lazio, Italy
Died in Stamford, Connecticut, USA  (stroke)
Birth NameFortunato Pinza

Mini Bio (1)

Ezio Pinza was born on May 18, 1892 in Rome, Lazio, Italy as Fortunato Pinza. He was an actor, known for The Blues Brothers (1980), Mr. Imperium (1951) and Tonight We Sing (1953). He was married to Doris Leak and Augusta Casinelli. He died on May 9, 1957 in Stamford, Connecticut, USA.

Spouse (2)

Augusta Casinelli (? - ?) (divorced) (1 child)
Doris Leak (? - 9 May 1957) (his death) (3 children)

Trivia (7)

At the Metropolitan Opera, his most famous role was as Mozart's "Don Giovanni".
Awarded the 1950 Tony for best actor in a musical for 'South Pacific.'
Born the seventh child and first to survive of impoverished parents.
In 1943, at the height of his fame as a Metropolitan Opera star, he was arrested by the FBI on charges of being an enemy alien. The charge, based almost entirely on circumstantial evidence and innuendo, was thought to have been made by a rival singer with the company. After much legal wrangling and testimony from friends and colleagues, Pinza, who spent several months interred on Ellis Island, was cleared of all charges. Although he never commented on the incident, his wife was convinced that the stress brought on by it was an indirect cause of his comparitively early death fourteen years later.
Incredibly enough, for all his success in opera and musical comedy, Ezio Pinza was unable to read music, and conductor Arturo Toscanini, with whom Pinza sometimes worked, often insisted on his singers performing every note as written! Everything Pinza sang, from the most complex operatic role to the simplest popular song, was memorized laboriously, note by note. As Pinza himself once said, "I'm no musician. I just know how to make nice sounds." Commenting on his working relationship with Toscanini, he once told an interviewer, "I always promise that I will not sing [Beethoven's] "Ninth Symphony" with that man, but when he calls, I cannot resist.... You have to sit for forty-five minutes and then you have to start [with an extremely difficult bass-baritone solo]".
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 1601 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
Father with August Cassinelli of lyric soprano Claudia Pinza.

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