East Harlemite, Francis Ford Coppola Uncle, Nicholas Cage Great-Uncle And Composer Dies At 102

March 17, 2020

An East Harlemite conductor and composer, Anton Coppola who scored Hollywood movies as well as operas, has passed aged 102.

He conducted two film scores, The Godfather Part III and the 1992 release, Dracula.

But before his work for the silver screen, he had composed for orchestras and an opera before two decades writing for Broadway.

He was the musical director of six musicals, including Silk Stockings, Bravo Giovanni and The Boy Friend, which starred a young Julie Andrews, during the 1950s and 1960s.

Luciano Pavarotti sang under his baton in La Boheme reports our source.

His family links to the Godfather films led to him featuring in the third installment of the franchise. Mr. Coppola was uncle to director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire, who played Connie Corleone, the only daughter of Mafia don Vito Corleone in the series.

Those links saw him feature on-screen in Godfather Part III, as the unnamed conductor during the performance of Cavalleria Rusticana in the Teatro Massimo in Palermo.

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Mr. Coppola was also great-uncle to actor Nicholas Cage.

The New Yorker, raised in East Harlem, started his career with the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus at the age of nine. When he turned 100, he wrote an opera about the controversial murder convictions of Italian immigrants Sacco and Vanzetti to mark the occasion.

From his beginnings in East Harlem, Mr. Coppola would go serve in the army as a bandmaster during World War Two, conductor at the world-famous Radio City Music Hall in New York and become director of the symphony and opera departments at Manhattan School of Music.

He was married twice and had three children: Susan, Lucia, and Bruno.

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