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Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Pinza, Ezio

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Ezio Pinza (1892 - 1957)

Today, the concept of a “crossover artist”who sings classical as well as pop may almost be a cliché. But 55 years ago, when former Metropolitan Opera star Ezio Pinza was cast in the lead of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, it made front-page headlines across America. Pinza’s decision to “go legit” occurred shortly after his retirement from the Met, a partnership which had lasted for 22 years, 51 roles and 850 performances. At that point, he was 57 years old and although his voice was past its peak operatic glory (New York Times music critic Howard Taubman described his final Don Giovanni as “saddening”) it was still far superior to many of the instruments heard on Broadway. Consequently, in the last decade of his life, Pinza was to achieve greater fame than he had earned at the peak of his classical career.



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