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Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Mario Lanza Vesti La Giubba - 1959

For the First Time
Directed by Rudolph Maté
Starring Mario Lanza
Johanna von Koczian
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Kurt Kasznar
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) 26 August 1959
Running time 92 min.
Country Italy and USA
Language English

Mario's greatest take of "Vesti La Giubba" was from the MGM film "For the First Time" (1959) it was to be 38 year old tenor star Mario Lanza's, final film.

Filmed on location in 1958-59 in Capri, Salzburg, Berlin and at the Rome Opera House, the film told the sentimental story of an operatic tenor (Tony Costa) who finds love for the first time with a young German woman (Johanna Von Koczian), who happens to be deaf. The film was directed by Rudolph Mate, and featured Kurt Kasznar and Zsa Zsa Gabor in supporting roles. Critics singled out Lanza's singing of "Vesti la Giubba" from Pagliacci greatly, as well as the Death Scene from Otello also singled out for special praise, with Mr. Howard Thompson of The New York Times praising the tenor's "range as an actor, in a most disarming vehicle that is sure to please Mario's fans", as well as being "one of the best musical films of the year in general.."

"Vesti La Giubba" - "Put on Your Costume" English Translation"

To act! While out of my mind,
I no longer know what I say,
or what I do!
And yet it's necessary... make an effort!
Bah! Are you not a man?
You are Pagliaccio!

Put on your costume,
powder your face.
The people pay to be here, and they want to laugh.
And if Harlequin shall steal your Colombina,
laugh, Pagliaccio, so the crowd will cheer!
Turn your distress and tears into jest,
your pain and sobbing into a funny face - Ah!

Laugh, Pagliaccio,
at your broken love!
Laugh at the grief that poisons your heart!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. He is actually my grandmother's cousin! I feel it is an honor to be related to him!

  3. He was my grandmothers cousin. Sorry.