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Ezio Pinza
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    (May 18, 1892-May 9, 1957)
    Birth name was Fortunato Ezio Pinza
    Performed at the New York Metropolitan Opera House, La Scala, Covent Garden, Paris Opéra, Salzburg Festival, San Francisco Opera and Chicago Opera
    Starred in 'Mr. Imperium (1950),' 'Strictly Dishonorable (1951),' 'Tonight We Sing (1953)' and 'Bonino (1953)'
    Starred on Broadway in 'South Pacific' and 'Fanny'
    Starred in 'The Ezio Pinza Show' (1951-1954)
    The priest refused to allow his parents to name him Ezio, because the name was banned as a pagan general who massacred Christians. So they christened him Fortunato but only called him Ezio.
    He went by his middle name.
    He left his television series 'The Ezio Pinza Show' in 1952, but it continued with his name in the title until 1954.
    His film career was unsuccessful.
    He was arrested by the FBI in 1943 on charges of being an enemy alien and spent several months interred on Ellis Island.
    Despite being an enormous operatic and musical theatre star, he never learned to read music.
    Prior to his birth six of his siblings all died within days of their birth.
    He wanted to be a professional cyclist. He credits this to building up his lungs to make him a powerful singer.
    He was cleared of the FBI charges, but his wife said the stress of the episode shortened his life.
    He spent twenty-two seasons at the New York Metropolitan Opera appearing in more than 750 performances of fifty operas.
    His performance as Don Giovanni is considered one of the greatest operatic achievements of the twentieth century.
    He won a Tony for 'South Pacific.'

Credit: Professor Moriarty

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