Mario Merola
Overview
 
Mario Merola was an Italian singer and actor, most prominently known for having rejuvenated the traditional popular Neapolitan melodrama known as the sceneggiata.

Born into a poor family of Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, Merola held a number of day jobs ranging from kitchen help to longshoreman at the port of Naples until one of his songs, Malu Figliu, was used successfully in a sceneggiata, promoting him into the limelight.
Encyclopedia
Mario Merola was an Italian singer and actor, most prominently known for having rejuvenated the traditional popular Neapolitan melodrama known as the sceneggiata.

Born into a poor family of Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, Merola held a number of day jobs ranging from kitchen help to longshoreman at the port of Naples until one of his songs, Malu Figliu, was used successfully in a sceneggiata, promoting him into the limelight. Merola was at the height of his popularity in the 1970s and 1980s.

He recorded approximately 40 CDs of sceneggiata music and has extensive credits in filmed versions of this Neapolitan form, newer ones as well as "classical" works from earlier in the 20th century. He toured abroad with a Neapolitan company to bring the sceneggiata to emigrant Italian communities elsewhere.

Although better known as a singer, Merola starred in several Italian crime thrillers, usually playing a gangster. He starred as crime boss Michele Barresi in Umberto Lenzi
Umberto Lenzi
Umberto Lenzi , is an Italian film director who was very active in low budget crime films, peplums, spaghetti westerns, war movies, cannibal films and giallo murder mysteries ....

's 1979 thriller From Corleone to Brooklyn
From Corleone to Brooklyn
From Corleone to Brooklyn is an Italian crime thriller directed by Umberto Lenzi. The film was released in Italy on April 13, 1979 and stars Maurizio Merli, Mario Merola and Van Johnson....

. One of Merola's most renowned movies was Zappatore, where he plays a father who worked tirelessly to make his son into a lawyer, only to have his son turn his back on him.

On November 26, 2005 Mario Merola was appointed, Knight of Malta, together with Bruno Venturini
Bruno Venturini
Bruno Venturini was an Italian football player who competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics.He was a member of the Italian team, which won the gold medal in the football tournament.-External links:*...

 and Mario Trevi
Mario Trevi
Mario Trevi,stage name of Agostino Capozzi is an Italian singer, film actor and theater actor.-Biography:Mario Trevi was born in Melito di Napoli, Italy, November 2, 1941....

.

He died aged 72 in 2006, after having been in intensive care in San Leonardo hospital in Castellammare di Stabia
Castellammare di Stabia
Castellammare di Stabia is a comune in the province of Naples, Campania region, southern Italy. It is situated on the Bay of Naples about 30 kilometers southeast of Naples, on the route to Sorrento.-History:...

 (Naples
Province of Naples
The Province of Naples is a province in the Campania region of Italy. Its capital city is Naples, within the province there are 92 Comuni of the Province of Naples.-Demographics:...

), with breathing difficulties.

Recordings (Selection)

  • 1967: Mario Merola (PIG AVA 74)
  • 1970: 6 sceneggiate cantate da Mario Merola (ZSL TM 55460)
  • 1972: canzoni 'nziste (REL-ST 19154)
  • 1981: Lacrime napulitane
  • 2001: Passione eterna

Filmography

  • Sgarro alla camorra (1973)
  • L'ultimo guappo, regia di Alfonso Brescia
    Alfonso Brescia
    Alfonso Brescia was an Italian film director of low budget films, sometimes credited as Al Bradley or Al Bradly. Film buffs mainly know him for the 4 low budget sci-fi films he hurriedly directed in 1977-78 to capitalize on the success of "Star Wars"...

     (1978)
  • Napoli... serenata calibro 9 (1978)
  • Il mammasantissima (1979)
  • Napoli... la camorra sfida e la città risponde (1979)
  • I contrabbandieri di Santa Lucia (1979)
  • Da Corleone a Brooklyn (1979)
  • Sbirro, la tua legge è lenta... la mia no! (1979)
  • Lo scugnizzo, regia di Alfonso Brescia
    Alfonso Brescia
    Alfonso Brescia was an Italian film director of low budget films, sometimes credited as Al Bradley or Al Bradly. Film buffs mainly know him for the 4 low budget sci-fi films he hurriedly directed in 1977-78 to capitalize on the success of "Star Wars"...

     (1979)
  • Zappatore (1980)
  • La tua vita per mio figlio (1980)
  • Carcerato (1981)
  • Lacrime napulitane (1981)
  • Napoli, Palermo, New York il triangolo della camorra (1981)
  • Tradimento (1982)
  • Giuramento (1982)
  • Core mio, regia di Stefano Calanchi (1982)
  • I figli... so' pezzi 'e core (1982)
  • Torna
    Torna
    Torna may refer to:* Turňa, county of the former Kingdom of Hungary* Torna Hundred, administrative division of Skåne, Sweden* Torna Fort in Pune District, Maharashtra, India...

    , regia di Stelvio Massi
    Stelvio Massi
    Stelvio Massi was an Italian director known for his crime films, although he was not as well known as crime film specialists like Enzo G Castellari or Umberto Lenzi, but he made about thirteen films in the genre, and was considered a fairly decent director.He also worked with actors such as Eva...

     (1984)
  • Guapparia, regia di Stelvio Massi
    Stelvio Massi
    Stelvio Massi was an Italian director known for his crime films, although he was not as well known as crime film specialists like Enzo G Castellari or Umberto Lenzi, but he made about thirteen films in the genre, and was considered a fairly decent director.He also worked with actors such as Eva...

     (1984)
  • Corsia preferenziale, film TV (1995)
  • Un posto al sole, serie TV (1996)
  • Cient'anne (1999)
  • Sud Side Stori (2000)
  • Totò Sapore e la magica storia della pizza, solo voce (2003)
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