Promotional photograph of South Philadelphia's Mario Lanza in the early 1950s.
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Mario Lanza.

Credit: Image Donated by Corbis-Bettmann

In the early 1950s, Mario Lanza had it all: a successful operatic singing career, a string of successful films for MGM, a recording contract with RCA Victor, and the praise of Frank Sinatra, who after hearing Lanza sing said "There's no exaggeration in stating that for once in my life I really swooned." Years later, Soprano Maria Callas would say of Lanza, "My biggest regret is not to have had the opportunity to sing with the greatest tenor voice I've ever heard."

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