Video: Nessun Dorma (Mario Lanza)

Alfredo Arnold Cocozza born in Pennsylvania. By the age of 16 his vocal talent became apparent. Starting out in local operatic productions in Philadelphia, he later came to the attention of conductor Serge Koussevitzky, who provided young Cocozza with a full student scholarship to the Berkshire Music Festival in Massachusetts.

His operatic debut, as Fenton in Nicolai's Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, was at Tanglewood on August 7, 1942, after studying with conductors Boris Goldovsky and Leonard Bernstein. It was here that Cocozza adopted the stage name Mario Lanza, which is the masculine version of his mother’s name.

His operatic career was interrupted by World War II, when he was assigned to Special Services in the U.S. Army Air Corps. A concert at the Hollywwod Bowl brought him to the attention of MGM's Louis. Mayer, who signed Lanza to a seven-year film contract with MGM. This would prove to be a turning point in the young singer's career.

source: wikipedia

However it is said that he had terrible problem to learn a partiture that's why he chose to become a movie star.
Enjoy him in the famous aria Nessun Dorma (Turandot):

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