Smitten with the great Mario Lanza from the age of ten, the tenor has waited until now to record his tribute.
Growing up, my family had an Italian restaurant where we played beautiful Neapolitan songs. From the age of five I sang in the restaurant Friday and Saturday nights. I fell in love with this music and straight away I knew that this was what I wanted to do. That’s where I first started performing in front of audiences.
I came across Mario Lanza when I was ten years old and my singing teacher gave me a copy of the film The Great Caruso. “I know you love Pavarotti,” she said, “but listen to this guy.” When Lanza started singing in that little café, I couldn’t believe the man had such an extraordinary voice. So I read the books and I watched all the documentaries and I fell in love with him. Lanza, for me, was Pavarotti and Frank Sinatra combined, and that was what made him so effective.
Mario loved Caruso, who coincidentally passed away in 1921, the year Lanza was born. Mario used to say he...