T h e O n e T e n o r : A S a l u t e t o M a r i o L a n z a
Updated in May, 2016 and available in hard copy for the first time, The One Tenor is a labor of love for life-long Mario Lanza devotee, New Zealand radio and television broadcaster Lindsay Perigo. It's the bringing together of his best Lanza-related essays, critiques and interviews over the years, with significant new material exclusive to this book, including Perigo's take on the theory that Mario Lanza suffered from Bipolar Disorder. This theory was first touted in the biography of Lanza by Roland Bessette, with little explication. In The One Tenor Perigo interviews Bessette, who elaborates on his theory for the first time. Perigo responds with a theory of his own in his stellar chapter, "Mario's Magic Madness." The author stresses in his Preface that The One Tenor is not a biography, but a chance to glimpse the overpoweringly charismatic Mario of screen and record. It is an informed, loving but critical celebration of the tenor of whom Dame Kiri Te Kanawa says flatly, "No one has ever been able to replace him. Ever in a million years." As current tenor superstar Joseph Calleja, himself inspired by Lanza to become a singer, observes in a new Foreword for this edition, Mario Lanza was "a man and voice for the ages." Savor this historic musical phenomenon through the pages of The One Tenor!
Congratulations to Lindsay on the remarkable success of his book, The One Tenor. No Lanza fan can be 'complete' without reading this extraordinary approach to profiling the Lanza voice and legacy. He has always been an exceptionally diverse observer and writes on a wide range of topics … from classical music reviews to political and social topics, like the engineered destruction of America.
In The One Tenor, the reader is led through a feast of remarkable words, gourmet expressions and unique creativity and insight. Few can write from the heart as effectively as does Mr. Perigo … as you will see for yourself, if you haven't already. There can never be too many wonderful books on Lanza whose memory and living voice are blessed with some truly amazing volumes. The descriptive exuberance and masterful phrase-turning of Mr. Perigo in The One Tenor, are often magical, indeed. I was honored to make a small contribution to this unique and indispensable work. There are so many textures and harmonics to Mario's life ... and many of them are brought to vivid, colorful, sparkling life here.
Internet radio host
Host, Mario Lanza Message Board
Lanza aficionado and broadcaster Lindsay Perigo has done his idol proud with his much-revised third edition of The One Tenor: A Salute to Mario Lanza, an unashamedly eclectic collection of essays, reviews, interviews, and even a sonnet. This is the first time the book has appeared in paperback form, and it’s been given a major makeover, with some eye-poppingly vivid colour photographs and an astute selection of striking black and white pics.
More importantly, its written content—most of it penned by the inimitable Linz himself—has been radically restructured, with the essays and articles now logically organized into four broad categories: Lanza the person and artist (“A Sense of Life”); reviews of selected recordings (“My God, Could That Man Sing”), reminiscences from colleagues and assorted tributes (“Fans, Friends, Family and Fellow-Artists”), and an extended interview with biographer Roland Bessette (“Controversy”). As I note in my preface to The One Tenor, the Bessette section is worth the price of the book alone, with Linz (an interviewer without peer in his native New Zealand) probing the lawyer-author at length regarding his contentious theory that Lanza suffered from undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder, and then responding good-humoredly with his own (eminently plausible) theory as to why the great tenor’s career was so erratic.
The book also boasts a magnificent new Foreword from leading contemporary tenor Joseph Calleja, a dyed-in-the-wool Lanza enthusiast who, among other things, handily demolishes the myth that his idol’s voice was created in the recording studios. Other sterling additions include a postscript that includes an extraordinary 2015 assessment of Lanza by Sir Antonio Pappano, Music Director of the Royal Opera House; and (most gratifyingly to this writer!) up-to-the-minute reviews of all four Lanza CDs released by Sepia Records in 2015-2016. (Information about those CDs can be found at the above link.)
Get yourself a copy today!
Derek McGovern, PhD,