Romanze CD Cover

(November 27th, 2013) –The Italian Academy Foundation, Inc. (IAF) has produced a new CD entitled Romanze, the songs by Francesco Paolo Tosti (1846-1916), performed by baritone Lawrence Harris, accompanied by pianist Renee Guerrero.

The CD which includes 14 songs by the great Abruzzese master, born in Ortona al Mare in April 6, 1846, represents selections from his work dating from 1882 to 1912. The project undertaken by the IAF to sustain the works of Tosti in circulation was produced together with Pipestone Productions and Joseph Patrych studios.

Mr. Harris’s performances in opera houses around the world have earned him accolades for his rich baritone voice. He captured First Prize and the coveted Audience Favorite Award in the 2008 Altamura/Caruso International Voice Competition. The New York Times critic Bernard Holland hailed Mr. Harris as a “major voice”. Established overnight as an important new Verdi baritone’, Mr. Harris, whose career spans over 30 roles, is widely praised as “a baritone with incredible dramatic intensity and enormous versatility.”

His leading roles include: Scarpia (Tosca), Count di Luna ( Il Trovatore), Germont (La Traviate), Tonio ( I Pagliacci), Amonasro (Aida), Escamillo (Carmen), Marcello (La Boheme), the High Priest (Samson & Dalila), the title role in Macbeth, as well as roles in U.S. and world premieres of several new operas by contemporary composers. Mr. Harris has performed the title role of Rigoletto to critical acclaim in both the U.S. and Mexico. His portrayal of Rigoletto in Connecticut Grand Opera’s 2005 production earned him an Opera Online Nomination for that year’s Best Leading Male Performance.

The love of Tosti’s works united Mr. Harris with IAF Chairman, Mr. Steve Acunto whose experience is shared by many music lovers. “I first heard the music of Tosti in Pescara, Italy, where, as a young man, I spent many summers. His music combines lyrical poetry, classical order and form, and beautiful expressions of 19th and early 20th century’s best writers. When I met baritone Lawrence Harris, a former football player in the NFL, my fascination was inevitable. He seemed that ideal voice and sensibility for this project; an athlete, disciplined, fearless of new material, and willing to take risks, and a vocalist of profound depth and rich color. This combination of elements creates a brilliant formula for a performance that is eloquent,” he said




The Italian Academy Foundation, Inc. (IAF), founded in 1947, has as its mission the presentation and preservation of classical works. As Ezra Pound famously wrote about great literary works, to make them “news that stays news”. We at the Italian Academy Foundation are proud of this collaboration.


The album is available through