File #: 200702    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 12/3/2020 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 12/10/2020
Title: Also naming Reed Street between 12th Street and 13th Street, as "Mario Lanza Way".
Sponsors: Councilmember Squilla
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 20070200, 2. Signature20070200
Also naming Reed Street between 12th Street and 13th Street, as "Mario Lanza Way".

WHEREAS, Alfredo Arnold Cocozza was born to Maria Lanza and Antonio Cocozza on January 31, 1921 in Philadelphia; and

WHEREAS, As a young boy, Freddy became drawn to the family's Victrola. With increasing intensity he would listen to 78-RPM operatic recordings with the accent on his favorite tenor, Enrico Caruso. Soon Freddy was singing along and studying plots. In his early teens he could discuss operatic arias and plots with authority. His first formal music training consisted of violin lessons, but his heart remained with opera. Recognizing her son's latent talent, Maria Lanza Cocozza went to work to pay for Freddy's voice lessons with Irene Williams, a local teacher with a good reputation; and

WHEREAS, In July 1942 the famous conductor Serge Koussevitzky was visiting Philadelphia and heard Freddy sing. His response was shocked, sincere, and immediate. Repeating the words Caruso redivivus (Caruso reborn), the maestro made immediate plans for Freddy to sing at Tanglewood. This resulted in his singing the role of Fenton in Otto Nicolai's "The Merry Wives of Windsor". It was at this time that Freddy took the masculine form of his mother's maiden name and became Mario Lanza; and

WHEREAS, With the world at war it was not long before Mario was drafted. He was soon singing to new audiences, this time in a soldier's uniform. Before being released in 1945, he had appeared in two Army productions, Frank Loesser's "On the Beam" and the acclaimed Moss Hart production "Winged Victory". These days also brought into his life the charming sister of an Army buddy, Betty Hicks. It was love at first sight and they were married on April 13, 1945. The union produced four children: Colleen, Ellisa, Damon, and Marc; and

WHEREAS, After his discharge, Mario spent more than a year in serious study with Enrico Rosati, the former vocal teacher of the great golden age tenor Be...

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