European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Jul 18 1968, Page 11

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - July 18, 1968, Darmstadt, HesseStabs and stripes daily Magazine Nino Martini looks Back on his Golden voiced years Sas Schuck Etlor Nino Martini nobody remembers me by James Gunter is Munich Bureau chief n Ino Martini owner of a Golden voice which graced american movies radio programs and opera stages for almost a Quarter of a Cen Tury turns Down ail invitations to leave his Marble Villa in Verona Italy an visit the United states. Nobody remembers me anymore he said. They asked me to come for the opening of the new metropolitan opera House but i declined. I like to just do nothing. It is peaceful and Martini s blonde american wife the former Nancy Maloney of Pittsburgh chimed in i wish Nino would go All that s where he made All his Martini s Best movie was probably the Gay desperado a spoof of musical comedy films of the Era. Still As Dapper As in the Days whence played romantic film leads in Holly yowl Martini goes to soccer games and spends much time with friends who like opera. Occasionally they sing Tenor can still produce a ringing pc ugh was brought to the states by Jesse Lasky of Paramount pictures in 1980to make one picture a year. I worked with such singers As Lawrence Tibbett Gladys Swarthout and Lily a dark handsome Verona youth who could t speak a word of English at the Lime Martini had studied voice with Giovanni Penatello himself a famous Singer. Nino Sang a lot in Church an wanted to get into opera. A Short time after arriving i the states he joined the Philadelphia opera company and made his debut there in1m1 singing later he Sang in la Boheme and Lucia wit Grace Moore in Pittsburgh. But it was the big Money of radio and Cinema that lured him in other directions. The americans pay a lot but Theydon t want much. They want a big name to do very Little to bring their Art Downto the level of everybody. It is too radio shows paid a lot but i did t want that much. I wanted to singly Martini was featured for four Pearson the Chesterfield hour with Lily Pons and was on a sustaining program with Howard Barlow and his orchestra. Representatives of a soft drink firm once offered him 5,000 to sing one song Sweet Leilani on a radio Broad cast. I told them it was not my kind of song and that they should Call in popular Singer and pay him a couple of Hundred dollars to do it and it would be better than i could do it. They Black met with Gen. Dwight a Eisenhower during postwar entertaining balled me from the program for the handsome italian also was uncomfortable performing in movies for popular consumption. He kept shifting from one studio to another signing con tracts with Paramount then 20th Cen tur Fox then United artists then had a conference at Rio studios in 1937 to decide what i would sing Ina new picture. I suggested Arias from Tosca and from la traviata1 an these suggestions were received with Deadpan silence All around the room. Then the president of Rio spoke and said he did t know much about opera but there was one operatic Tun that he liked and maybe i could sing it. He then summed the Soldier chorus from Faust " which part would you like me losing Martini asked him icily. Nevertheless the Singer went Righton grinding out films like the Gay desperado with Ida Lupino opposite him music for Madame and Here s to Romance with Ernestine Schumann Heink. In 1933, he joined the metropolitan opera and made his first appearance there in rigoletto with Giuseppe Deluca the famous baritone who Sang the title was not a very Sweet fellow. He was mad All the time jealous. I was ayoung newcomer and he tried to push me around but i told him that enough he was a naughty Man but of course he was a great artist that s for the Tenor met his wife when she was visiting her sister who was on the opera Board of directors in think it was the hat that did it she said. We were holding a Bridge Benefit in a hotel and i wore a special hat. Nino went through the lobby Bandsaw the hat. He wanted me to go Back stage that evening and we started see ing one another. He was on his Way overseas but year later he telephoned. X never thought i would come to Italy but in 1945, Martini made a memorable trip. Grace Moore said come with Means sing for the boys in Europe and so they gave me five or six injection Sand we travelled All Over France and Germany singing 23 concerts with Thueso. I became friends with a col. Jack Bradley from Texas in Nuernberg and he asked me where i was from. When told him from Verona he said what Are you doing tonight?1"well, they strapped a Parachute on me and in one hour i was in Verona and saw my Martini great admired Ezio Pinza the italian Bass at the met who became Best known As the Star of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South wanted me to sing South pacific7 after Pinza died but i turn edit Down because that six performances a week is what killed Pinza. You Only live tryday july 18, 1968 the stars and stripes Martini s three Sisters and their families live in Verona and he enjoys them his Villa and his Garden. He takes much interest in the operas held each summer in Verona s famous outdoor Rena a festival founded by his old teacher Sang in the Arena in 1948, the Tenor roles in Manon and Madame Butterfly and the sound in that ancient Arena i better than in a theater he said. His last performance in America Wason a television program in 1954 when he Sang Arias from was mad with my manager. Rudolf Bing had just become Tho manager of the metropolitan and my manager said i should go to see or. told him that or. Bing should come to see never went to see or. Bing and he never came to see me and so came Home to Page 11

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