Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mario Lanza Institue and Museum - or a place so small you've probably missed it


  • Mario Lanza was born in 1921 at 636 Christian Street.
  • His birth name was Alfredo Arnold Cocozza.
  • As a young boy he listened to opera records and trained with a local music teacher, Irene Williams.
  • He was discovered by a famous conductor, drafted into the Army, and then later worked with MGM in Hollywood showcasing his amazing operatic tenor.
  • His film, "The Great Caruso", was the top grossing film in the world in 1951.
  • He left Hollywood to move to Italy and died in Rome in 1959 of a heart attack.
  • The Mario Lanza museum is next to St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi Church. 

St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi Church


  • Visit the museum at 712 Montrose Street on the first floor of Columbus House.
  • Call before visiting - they might be closed. Their hours are Monday through Wednesday and Friday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Visit their website.

Entrance to  the museum


  • Worry about admission. It's free, though donations are accepted.
  • Know what to expect? The museum houses Mario Lanza memorabilia and has items for sale. 
  • Miss his mural at the corner of Broad and Reed.
  • Worry. I had no idea who he was either.

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