Mario Merola

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Mario Merola
Mario Merola.jpeg
Mario Merola
Background information
Born (1936-04-06)April 6, 1936
Origin Naples, Campania, Italy
Died November 12, 2006(2006-11-12) (aged 72)
Castellamare di Stabia
Genres Canzone Napoletana, Pop music
Occupation(s) Singer, Actor
Years active 1959–2006
Labels Phonotris, Zeus Record, Hello, Storm, Arlecchino, Deafon, Edibi

Mario Merola (April 6, 1934 – November 12, 2006) was an Italian singer and actor, most prominently known for having rejuvenated the traditional popular Neapolitan melodrama known as the sceneggiata.

He was nicknamed the King of the sceneggiata to be able to give this kind typically a regional and a national popularity and success unknown before, to make a film genre, representing all of this even off the stage, so being able to put a face to sceneggiata.[1]


Born into a poor family 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.

With the proceeds of the first vocal performances manages to marry Rosa Serrapiglia, April 5, 1964, with whom he had three children: Roberto (organizer of musical events), Loredana (housewife) and Francesco, singer, too, who in recent years has accompanied the father on numerous occasions, among them the performance at the Festival of Naples in 2001, where they won the first prize with the song L'Urdemo emigrante (The last immigrant).[2]

The first public performance of Merola happens by chance, at the beginning of the sixties, from just had sounded the siren of the lunch break at the port of Naples and Merola, along with colleagues unloaders, walked in the square near the church of Sant 'Anna to the Marshes to attend the party on the occasion of the celebration of the Virgin Mary. The singer who had produce, Mario Trevi, came to the event with a ten-minute delay. In this expectation colleagues Merola led Miscavige to get on stage and perform, for the first time, from before a public.[3]

In 1964, he made his debut at the Festival of Naples with the song Doce e' 'o silenzio (Sweet is the silence), coupled with Elsa Quarta. The next year will be the time to T'aspetto a maggio (wait for you in May) with Achille Togliani and Tu stasera si pusilleco (You will tonigh Pusilleco) with Enzo Del Forno. In 1966 he continued his participation in the Festival of Naples with the songs and Femmene e tamorre and Ciento catene (one hundred chains), in 1967 Allegretto ma non-troppo (happy but not too), in 1968 Cchiu' forte (stronger) and Comm'a 'nu Sciummo (like a river) in 1969 with 'O masto (the master), ciente appuntamente (hundred appointments) (which he wrote the music) and Abbracciame (hug) and in 1970 with 'Nnammurato 'e te! (in love with you) and Chitarra rossa (Guitar red). After the interruption of the Festival in 1971, it will be taken thirty years later, in 2001. In this latest edition Merola and his son Francesco, will perform with the song L'urdemo emigrante (the last emigrant), coming to a total of eight investments.[4]

In the 1970s, he went to the White House as the representative of the classic Neapolitan song and there he sang for an hour.[5]

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.

Becomes a "scout" (contributing among other things to the initial popularity of the young Massimo Ranieri, Nino D'Angelo, and Gigi D'Alessio).[6]

Although better known as a singer, Merola starred in several Italian crime thrillers, usually playing a good-hearted gangster (a guappo). He starred as crime boss Michele Barresi in Umberto Lenzi's 1979 thriller From Corleone to Brooklyn. 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 the occasion of the Festival of Sanremo 1994, along with Nilla Pizzi, Wess, Wilma Goich, Manuela Villa, Tony Santagata, Jimmy Fontana, Gianni Nazzaro, Lando Fiorini, Rosanna Fratello and Giuseppe Cionfoli, is part of Team Italy, cosituitosi 's event, and sings the song Una vecchia canzone italiana (An old Italian song), will affect a disc of the same name that contains 12 tracks including one sang together and the other individually by each member of the group, Merola an occasion to affect an unreleased track Acqua salata Blu (salt water blue).[7]

Engages as a composer, in fact, is the author of the music of some songs, including: Ciento appuntamente (1969), Passione Eterna (Eternal Passion) (1972) and Eternamente tua (Eternally Yours) (1973), three of its major topics. whose lyrics were written by Enzo di Domenico.

In 1997, Merola went into coma when he was hospitalized for three weeks at the hospital Vecchio Pellegrini of Naples. That was the most disturbing episode as a crisis cardio-respiratory did fear the worst. On that occasion, for the first time, the sleep was induced by drugs. Merola, on that occasion, he recovered.[8]

On November 26, 2005, Mario Merola was appointed, Knight of Malta, together with Bruno Venturini and Mario Trevi.[9]

In 2005, he published his autobiography Napoli solo andata... Il mio lungo viaggio (Napoli one way ... My Long Journey) written with journalist Geo Nocchetti, Merola in the book talks about his life, his achievements, illness and many other things concerning him. The book, Merola, accompanying it also features many photos.

He died aged 72 in November 12, 2006, after having been in intensive care in San Leonardo hospital in Castellammare di Stabia (Naples), with breathing difficulties.[10] The funeral will take place on November 14, in Naples, in the Basilica of Santa Maria del Carmine Maggiore (the same one where Merola was married and also the same when it was celebrated in 1967, the funeral of Totò). Present the political authorities, colleagues and, in the square outside the church, some 40,000 people. At least half of the people followed the coffin in procession to the Monumental Cemetery of Naples, where the artist is buried.[11]


During the Festival of Sanremo 2000, the singer Bono Vox of U2, who was performing the song The ground beneath her feet, fell into the pit and came across Mario Merola: once before he pays homage with a bow, while the neapolitan singer applauded him.[12]

Hugo Race in 2004 published The Merola Matrix, an album of 16 songs in which Race uses the voice of old songs and even some movie scenes of Merola making a mix between his music and that of the artist in neapolitan.[13][14]

In 2005, the singer recorded the album neomelodico Mauro Nardi sings Merola where he plays 16 tracks not belonging to the genus neomelodico, but in the classic neapolitan song, Merola achievements, Nardi that pays homage to running them.[15]

A Mario Merola, some neomelodici have dedicated several songs, including: Faje parte 'e chesta storia (You are part of this story), il grande Merola (The great Merola), al re Merola (King Merola) and Maestro Merola (Master Merola).[16][17][18]

In 2008 he opened the restaurant-museum in Naples Felicissima Sera (Happy evening), named after the myth of Mario Merola. The venue accompanied by photos, objects, records, posters, costumes, letters, covers and newspaper headlines of the singer, was born thanks to the children of Roberto and Francesco, Mimmo and Valentino Manna and with the collaboration of the design Nadia Wanderlingh. Among the photos that portray Merola there are those with Diego Armando Maradona, Mike Bongiorno, Franco Franchi, Ornella Muti, Johnny Dorelli, Vittorio Gassman and Adriano Celentano. In the room there is also a letter written by Eduardo De Filippo to Merola dated October 29, 1976.[19]

In 2009, the great singer, in the district Sant'Anna alle Paludi in Naples, is erected a commemorative plaque bust . The plaque created by sculptor Dominico Sepe, reads: Mario Merola ambassador of Neapolitan songs in the world.[20][21]

On September 18, 2010, we held the first memorial Mario Merola a musical event dedicated to the great singer. The concert was held at the Stadio San Ciro Portici has seen the participation of, among others: Francesco Merola, Tullio de Piscopo, Sal Da Vinci, Gigi Finizio, Gianni Fiorellino, Mario Da Vinci, Valentina Stella, Gloriana and Gigi D'Alessio.[22][23]

In November 2011 was held in the Vigevano Rally in honor of the king of sceneggiata Mario Merola, a concert in honor of Merola which brought together many of his fans from all over Europe.[24]

In 2013 was founded on the YouTube channel Mario-Merola Story, a channel that contains several songs by the great artist.[25]

Festival of Naples[edit]

  • 1964
    • Doce e' 'o silenzio (Acampora – Martingano) with Elsa Quarta, 12th Festival of Neapolitan Song – not finalist
  • 1965
    • T'aspetto a Maggio (Dura – Scuotto – Esposito) with Achille Togliani, 13th Festival of Neapolitan Song – 7th place
    • Tu stasera si pusilleco (Amato – E. Buonafede) with Enzo Del Forno, 13th Festival of Neapolitan Song – not finalist
  • 1966
    • Ciento catene (Chiarazzo – Ruocco) with Maria Paris, 14th Festival of Neapolitan Song – 5th place
    • Femmene e Tamorre (E. Bonagura – Lumini) with Daisy Lumini, 14th Festival of Neapolitan Song – not finalist
  • 1967
    • Allegretto ma non-troppo (De Crescenzo – D'Annibale) with Mario Abbate, 15th Festival of Neapolitan Song – 6th place
    • Freve 'e gelusia (Chiarazzo – Pelligiano) with Maria Paris, 15th Festival of Neapolitan Song – 9th place
  • 1968
    • Cchiu' forte 'e me (U. Martucci – Colosimo – Landi) with Ben Venuti, 16th Festival of Neapolitan Song – not finalist
    • Comm'a nu sciummo (Barrucci – Gregoretti – C. Esposito) with Mario Trevi, 16th Festival of Neapolitan Song – not finalist
  • 1969
    • 'O Masto (Pelliggiano – Mammone – De Caro – Petrucci) with Antonio Buonomo, 17th Festival of Neapolitan Song – 5th place
    • Abbracciame (Romeo – Dura – Troia) with Giulietta Sacco, 17th Festival of Neapolitan Song – 7th place
    • Ciento Appuntamente (Langella – Falsetti) with Luciano Rondinella, 17th Festival of Neapolitan Song – 13th place
  • 1970
    • Chitarra Rossa (Russo – V. – S. Mazzocco) with Mirna Doris, 18th Festival of Neapolitan Song – 5th place
    • 'Nnammurato 'e te! (Fiorini – Schiano) with Luciano Rondinella, 18th Festival of Neapolitan Song – 6th place
    • 'O guastafeste (Moxedano – Colucci – Sorrentino – Cofra) with Luciano Rondinella, 18th Festival of Neapolitan Song – 12th place
  • 1971
    • Was present Stella Nera (Russo – Genta) with Luciano Rondinella, 19th Festival of Neapolitan Song – closed program for organizational reasons
  • 2001
    • L'Urdemo Emigrante (V. Campagnoli – G. Campagnoli – M. Guida – G. Quirito) with Francesco Merola, 24th Festival of Neapolitan Song – 1st place/Winner

Festival of Sanremo[edit]

Recordings (Selection)[edit]

Mario Merola

33 rpm[edit]

45 rpm[edit]


Album live[edit]

Collected partial[edit]



External links[edit]


  1. ^ è morto Mario Merola – Il Corriere della Sera
  2. ^ Mario Merola – Geo Nocchetti, Napoli solo andata... Il mio lungo viaggio, Sperling & Kupfer (2005) 1st chapter Malufiglio
  3. ^ Mario Merola – Geo Nocchetti Napoli solo andata... Il mio lungo viaggio, Sperling & Kupfer (2005), 2nd chapter Fronte del porto
  4. ^ Mario Merola – Geo Nocchetti Napoli solo andata... Il mio lungo viaggio, Sperling & Kupfer (2005)
  5. ^ Mario Merola – Geo Nocchetti Napoli solo andata... il mio lungo viaggio, Sperling & Kupfer (2005) 4th chapter Felicissima sera
  6. ^ Mario Merola – Geo Nocchetti Napoli solo andata... il mio lungo viaggio, Sperling & Kupfer (2005), 6th chapter Core 'ngrato
  7. ^ Eddy Anselmi, Festival di Sanremo. Almanacco illustrato della canzone italiana, edizioni Panini, Modena, alla voce Squadra Italia
  8. ^ Mario Merola – Geo Nocchetti, Napoli solo andata... il mio lungo viaggio, Sperling & Kupfer (2005), capitolo Malattia e Famiglia
  9. ^ "I Cavalieri Crociati approdano al Gran Hotel La Sonrisa" La Repubblica, November 29, 2005, pag. 14
  10. ^ Enzo D'Errico, "Merola 1934–2006», Corriere della Sera, November 13, 2006.
  11. ^ – I funerali di Mario Merola, servizio di Beppe Nisa, 14 November 2006
  12. ^ Da Louis Armstrong a Bono Vox, Quando il superospite nobilita il Festival, paragrafo: Quell'inchino di Bono a Mario Merola
  13. ^ Libreria Neapolis – Hugo Race – THE MEROLA MATRIX
  14. ^ Hugo Race – The Merola Matrix –
  15. ^ MAURO NARDI – Officiel website
  16. ^ Faje parte e chesta storia on YouTube
  17. ^ Grande Merola on YouTube
  18. ^ Maestro Merola on YouTube
  19. ^ Posillipo, ecco "casa Merola" taverna-museo
  20. ^ Lapide a Mario Merola
  21. ^ Lapide celebrativa a Mario Merola
  22. ^ Memorial Mario Merola – 18 settembre 2010 – Napoli
  23. ^ Poster Memorial Mario Merola
  24. ^ Da tutta l'Europa per ricordare Mario Merola
  25. ^ YouTube Channel – Mario-Merola Story