Mario Lanza Ball marks 59th year

Photo/Mark Zimmaro

The memory of a famous South Philly tenor will be celebrated at the 59th Annual Mario Lanza Ball Weekend on Nov. 20.

Family and fans of Lanza will gather at the IATSE Ballroom at 2401 S. Swanson St. at 6 p.m. to pay tribute to the legendary singer, who passed away in 1959.

The fundraiser, conducted by the Mario Lanza Institute, helps perpetuate Lanza’s dream of aiding young aspiring opera singers through scholarships. The Institute has awarded more than 270 scholarships, and some of the recent winners have included Joyce DiDonato, Juan Diego Florez and Ailyn Perez. 

The event includes the Mario Lanza Ball, the Mario Lanza Scholarship competition finals, a video presentation, an auction and dinner and dancing to Over the Top Entertainment. 

The following day, there will be a special luncheon at 1 p.m. at the Mario Lanza Museum at 1214 Reed St. that will include a screening of Lanza’s film “Serenade,” co-starring Joan Fontaine, Vincent Price and Sarita Montiel.

Tickets for the ball are $125. Tickets for the luncheon and movie screening are $30, and seating is limited. To order tickets, contact the Mario Lanza Institute at 215-238-9691 or