Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Italian bass Ezio Pinza (18 May 1892 - 9 May 1957) was one of the outstanding opera singers of the first half of the 20th century. He spent twenty-two seasons at New York's Metropolitan Opera, appearing in more than 750 performances of fifty operas.
After World War I, he debuted at Rome in 1919 and Milan's La Scala in February, 1922. Pinza's Met debut came November 1926 in Spontini's La Vestale, with famed American soprano Rosa Ponselle in the title role. In 1929, he sang Don Giovanni, a role with which he was subsequently to become closely identified. He subsequently added the Mozart roles Figaro (in 1940) and Sarastro (in 1942) to his repertoire, as well as a vast number of Italian operatic roles of Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi, as well as Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov (sung in Italian).
After retiring from the Met in 1948, Pinza embarked on a second career on Broadway. In April 1949, he appeared in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific and his sensual singing of "Some Enchanted Evening" made him a matinee idol and a national celebrity. He also appeared in the Broadway production of Fanny in 1954, opposite Florence Henderson.
Pinza died at age 64. His funeral was held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
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