Italian American tenor. (Born: March 3, 1919 Rome, Italy- Died: December 16, 2005 Midland, Texas, USA).
Born Lorenzo Scapone, Enzo moved to the United States in 1934, settling in
Newark, New Jerseywith his family who had already immigrated to the United Statessometime earlier. Little is known about Enzo's early life apart from the fact that he spent some of his formative years at the Monte CassinoAbbey in Italy and was schooled by the monks of that order. After coming to the states he finished his rudimentary schooling and worked with his father, a baker by trade.
In 1940, Enzo joined the Merchant Marines and was assigned aboard the Liberty Ship SS CHARLES PRATT [http://www.armed-guard.com/soef06.html] . Good fortune was not smiling on the PRATT (a Panamanian based tanker) when, on December 21, 1940 she was torpedoed by a German U-Boat. Enzo survived the attack and after his service in the Merchant Marines, he returned to Italy for the much needed voice training required to pursue his ambition of singing professionally.
He studied for a time at the Accademia di Santa Ceccila in Rome and it was during this period that Enzo responded to an advertisement by Ferrari race cars for test drivers. He needed the income and applied. Thus began a life long love of cars and racing that endured for the rest of his life. He even drove professionally for a brief period. It was the theatre and music that was still the primary goal though and it was that pursuit which brought him back to the United States.
Enzo Stuarti's first Broadway show was HOLLYWOOD PINAFORE [http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?ID=1705] followed by NELLIE BLY [http://www.ibdb.com/show.asp?ID=6461] . Then in 1946, Enzo was cast in the role of Passepartout in the
Cole Porter/ Orson Wellesmusical AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS [http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?ID=1444] . The production was not considered a success though, opening on May 31, 1946 at the Adelphi Theater and closing on August 31, 1946 with a run of just seventy-five performances. It was during this time that Enzo was performing under the stage names, Larry Laurence (sometimes spelled Lawrence) and Larry Stuart. [http://www.ibdb.com/person.asp?id=49041] Additional Broadway credits include: AS THE GIRLS GO [http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?ID=2037] , TWO ON AN ISLE, ME AND JULIET [http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?ID=2235] and BY THE BEAUTIFUL SEA [http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?ID=2448] . [http://www.ibdb.com/person.asp?id=49041]
Toward the end of 1954, Enzo abandoned Larry Laurance as his stage name and took the name Enzo Stuarti. He began reworking his voice and focusing on a career as a semi-classical vocalist. His first big break came when
Jubilee Recordssigned him. The year was 1960 and the world of music had just lost the gifted tenor Mario Lanza(1921-1959), and Jubilee, as well as several other labels, were trying to capitalize on America's love of the Italian tenor and a romantic, semi-classical repertoire. Enzo's debut album, "We're Not Strangers" (JPL 1041) enjoyed moderate success, but it was the last minute engagement at the Plaza Hotel's Persian Room that began to get the singer noticed. The press response was quite favorable and this prompted Jubilee to try a two faceted promotion push. First came Stuarti's second album, "Enzo Stuarti at the Plaza" (JLP 5022) followed by presenting the singer in an arranged promotional concert at Carnegie Hall, which was recorded and later released as a two-record set, "Enzo Stuarti Arrives at Carnegie Hall" (JGM2-5055). Well recorded and well produced, the album went far in helping to establish Enzo's standing as a vocalist and night club performer. He played the major venues in New York and its environs and continued to establish himself as a legitimate vocalist and headline act.
Next came a tribute album to
Mario Lanza, which was eventually bootlegged and re-released on several different labels under various titles. Though crude, this recording helped to prompt the comparison of Stuarti's voice and Mario Lanza's. Comparisons are odious though and to say that the two voices were similar is indeed a stretch. Lanza's voice was, from the beginning, a brilliant operatic instrument with range, power and beauty that could have taken him to any opera house he chose. He died at the premature age of 38 though, so we are left with the great question: What might Mario Lanza have done in opera had he lived. Stuarti, on the other hand, possessed a voice with moderate power and range as well as true Italiante passion but it was, by no means, of genuine operatic quality. Unlike Lanza though, Enzo utilized his talents fully; capitalizing on the romantic Italian tenor fervor that had begun with Mario Lanza a decade earlier. Enzo Stuarti's voice, repertoire and persona appealed to the public and that, in the end, is all that matters. He recorded for several labels, including: Jubilee, Epic, Columbia, Diplomat and Spin-O-Rama.
Enzo Stuarti married twice; first in 1942 to Esther Mesce (they had two children) and then again to Thelma Donohoo in 1975.
Website: [http://www.enzostuarti.com] Available Recordings: [http://www.amazon.com/s?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=Enzo+Stuarti]
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