Mario Lanza Day Proclaimed
In State Of Pennsylvania
From Bill Ronayne
Sunday, November 7th, 2004 was proclaimed 'Mario Lanza Day' in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by Governor Edward G. Rendell.
This was the first time that the state in which Mario Lanza was born has given him a day in his honor. Over the years there have been many 'Mario Lanza Days' in Philadelphia, the city where Lanza was born as Alfredo Cocozza in 1921, and other cities have honored his memory including most recently New Rochelle, New York. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has also proclaimed Mario Lanza Day twice in last five years.
The proclamation was read by Mario Lanza Institute President Mary Galanti Papola at the 43rd Annual Mario Lanza Ball, which took place at the DoubleTree Hotel in Philadelphia on the evening of November 7th. Fans came from all over the United States as well as from foreign countries including Canada, Mexico, England, Ireland, China, and Japan to remember the legendary tenor.
Celebrity guests in attendance included opera stars Elaine Malbin, Enrico Di Giuseppe, and Frank Guarrera, WGBH radio personality and the 'Voice of the Boston Symphony' Ron Della Chiesa, and Lanza's son Damon. In the proclamation Governor Rendell congratulated the Lanza Institute for its many years of promoting Mario Lanza's legacy and perpetuating his dream of aiding young opera singers through scholarships. He also cited Lanza's contribution to music and his extraordinary talent.
The Mario Lanza Institute, which is a nonprofit organization, maintains The Mario Lanza Museum located in South Philadelphia at 712 Montrose Street a few blocks from where Lanza was born and conducts a yearly competition with the finals taking place at the annual Ball. Since its inception in 1961, the institute has granted over 200 scholarships with many recipients going on to major international careers. Mario Lanza was a uniquely gifted artist whose talent encompassed many different styles and genres of music. He has been an inspiration to many performers and was an ambassador for all good music.
For more information about Mario Lanza and the scholarship program please contact the Mario Lanza Institute at 215-238-9691 or write to Mario Lanza Institute P.O. Box 54624 Philadelphia, PA 19148-0624.