Today's Memory

Today’s Memory – Enrico Caruso1 min read

Enrico Caruso

February 25, 1873, Naples – August 2, 1921

Enrico Caruso was an Italian tenor who sang to great acclaim at the major opera houses of Europe and North and South America, appearing in a wide variety of roles from the Italian and French repertoires that ranged from the lyric to the dramatic.

Apprenticed to a mechanical engineer at age 10, at 18 he began to sing in public in his free time. He made his début at Naples in 1894 but his first real success came with Enzo in La Gioconda at Palermo (1897). He sang Nemorino in Lelisir damore at La Scala (1900) and from 1902, when he made his début as the Duke of Mantua, to 1914 achieved great success at Covent Garden. But he sang most often at the Met (1903-1920), where he was greatly loved and admired. His recordings made him universally famous. Caruso fused a natural baritone timbre with a tenor’s smooth, silken finish. The brilliance of his high notes, exceptional breath control and impeccable intonation made his voice unique, and he was considered the greatest tenor of the century. He was a notable interpreter of Verdi and grand opéra; among the first performances in which he sang was La fanciulla del West (1910).

Caruso also made approximately 290 commercially released recordings from 1902 to 1920.

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