Saturday, August 21, 2004

50 years ago: Mario Lanza’s The Student Prince hit #1 for 1st of 42 weeks

First posted 4/7/2008; updated 9/29/2020.

The Student Prince

Mario Lanza

Opened on Broadway: December 2, 1924

Charted: July 10, 1954

Peak: 142 US, 5 UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 0.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: operetta


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Orchestral Introduction
  2. Serenade (4/22/55, 15 UK)
  3. Golden Days
  4. Drink, Drink, Drink (aka “The Drinking Song”) (10/16/54, 21 US, 13 UK)
  5. Summertime in Heidelberg
  6. Beloved
  7. Gaudeamus Igitur
  8. Deep in My Heart, Dear
  9. I’ll Walk with God (2/18/55, 18 UK)


4.229 out of 5.00 (average of 7 ratings)


About the Album:

“Sigmund Romberg’s celebrated operetta The Student Prince opened on Broadway on December 2, 1924, the first of 608 performances that were only the beginning of decades-long success for the musical story of Prince Karl Franz and his thwarted love for the waitress Kathie in Heidelberg. The original production occurred long before the vogue for original Broadway cast albums struck in the 1940s, but when it did, the record labels organized studio-only casts to record the score. Columbia and RCA Victor had versions out in 1947, …Mercury released one in 1949” AMG and “Decca belated got into the act” AMG in 1950.

MGM released a film version in 1954 that featured the singing of Mario Lanza. It “was one of Lanza’s greatest achievements, with the tenor producing some of his most ardent and poetic singing” AZ on what is “generally regarded as being among Lanza’s finest renditions of English-language songs.” WK “The highlights are undoubtedly the joyful Drinking Song; the inspired I’ll Walk with God; …Serenade; and the passionate Beloved – arguably Lanza’s best recording of an English song.” AZ

“‘Beloved’ and ‘I’ll Walk with God’…are not by Sigmund Romberg, the original composer of The Student Prince, but were written especially for the film version by Nicholas Brodszky and Paul Francis Webster.” WK Also, “The Student Prince was recorded in 1952, with one remake (‘Beloved’) in May of 1953.” WK

The soundtrack recording differs from the movie. “For contractual reasons, the singing of soprano Ann Blyth,.” WK “Lanza’s vocal partner on the actual soundtrack” AZ was replaced in the movie with “soprano Elizabeth Doubleday, who appears with the tenor on two tracks here…Doubleday’s contribution was recorded separately, with the disconcerting result that on Deep in My Heart, Dear, she sings both the soprano and the tenor parts in the middle of the song. Lanza’s only contribution on this number is the magically phrased opening, which RCA clumsily repeats at the end.” AZ

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