- I am pleased to announce a number of very special commemorative
events currently being organized in the United Kingdom and in Ireland for
the 50th anniversary of Mario Lanza's passing.
- On October 7th, the Adrian Boult Hall at the Birmingham
Conservatoire in the U.K. will host a musical salute to the great American
tenor. This event is being sponsored by the British Mario Lanza Society,
with special guests Ellisa Lanza Bregman and her husband Bobby in attendance.
Ellisa is the Honorary President of the BMLS, the world's longest surviving
Lanza fan club, and her presence in Birmingham that night will grace what
promises to be an elegant and moving tribute to her father.
- Details of the concert, booking, etc. can be found at
the Conservatoire's website:
- The following morning, October 8th, Ellisa and Bobby
will fly to Dublin where I will join them for an event-filled day honoring
Mario Lanza. First up is a visit to the lovely Botanic Gardens, located
a short drive from the city centre. As many of you know, the beautiful
Mario Lanza Rose was unveiled at the Hampton Court Flower Show in July
2000 and until now has only been available in the U.K. That will change
on October 8th at the garden center when Ellisa will formally introduce
the Lanza Rose into Ireland. (A photo of the flower is featured prominently
in the jewel case and booklet to the great Lanza CD "My Romance.")
Pam Latham from the BMLS, who commissioned the original rose, hopes to
attend the ceremony as well.
- At 8 p.m. that evening, a gala tribute to Mario Lanza
will take place at Dublin's beautiful Nation Concert Hall.
- The event is being organized by long-time Lanza admirer
Geraldine McCann and promoter Pat Egan, and a great night of music and
song is guaranteed. The concert will also be presented at the Cork Opera
House on October 6th and at U.C.H. in Limerick on October 7th. Ellisa has
been asked to say a few words on stage at the Dublin event and already
there is much advance promotional coverage on Ireland's popular radio shows.
- This visit to Ireland will be a special homecoming of
sorts for Ellisa and for me. We first met in Dublin in the late 1960s when
we were both in our teens and it will be wonderful to join up with her
again in my hometown for these very special high-profile tributes to her
- Following the concert, Ellisa and Bobby will return to
the U.K. where I will meet with them later for the yearly gathering of
the British Mario Lanza Society in Stratford-upon-Avon. I expect a lot
of very happy memories will be made for us all on this trip.