The History of the Tenor
Is an archive of the greatest Operatic Tenors including narration and sound clips from 1900 until 1990.

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Enrico Caruso

Enrico Caruso Caruso, Enrico

Born: February 25th 1873, in Napoli

Died: August 2nd 1921

Italian Tenor

Enrico Caruso grew up in poor and destitute circumstances. He was probably the third of seven children to an alchoholic father, and Caruso received little or no education. His musical training was made up of choir rehearsals in church until his voice broke, whereupon he made his living as a hired serenade singer.

His operatic debut took place on 15 March 1895 in a Neapolitan back street theater, but it was sufficient to launch the young "Errico" on the south Italian circuit. His coup came when auditioning for Puccini himself the summer of 1897 for a performance of La Boheme in Livorno; a baffled Puccini uttered the celebrated line "Who sent you to me? God himself?"

Great fame followed with Fedora in Milano, and Caruso was signed for a lucrative recording contract with the Gramophone and Typewriter Company in 1902 for ten arias at £10 per take. In May the same year he debuted at the Covent Garden in Rigoletto, and his Met debut came in November 1903. He sang with the company the next 18 seasons, appearing on 607 occasions in 37 different operas. "His name was to become synonymous with greatness, a household word, and his movements were followed fastidiously by public and media alike" [Roland Vernon].

At the height of his career he fell ill with bronchial pneumonia which later developed into chronic pleurisy. After several misfortunate attempts of surgery, he died in his native Napoli on August 2nd 1921, 48 years of age.

Tenor Aria Opera Date Time
n04-21 Caruso Narrative   6.39
a04-22 Caruso Bella Figlia Rigoletto 1907 1.31
n04-23 Caruso Narrative   2.01
a04-24 Caruso Angelo Casto E Bel  D/Alba 1907 3.36
n04-25 Caruso Narrative   5.59
a04-26 Caruso Una Furtiva Lagrima L'Eliser 1915 1.34
a04-27 Caruso Solenne w Scotti Forza 1907 0.48
a04-28 Caruso Libiamo w Gluck Traviata 1906 2.18
a04-29 Caruso La Riverdro w Hemphel Un Ballo 1915 1.39
a04-30 Caruso Sleale Il Sergretto w De Luca La Forza 1915 0.31
a04-31 Caruso O Terra Addio w Gadski Aida 1910 1.01
a04-32 Caruso Trio w Alda w Journet I/Lombardi 1912 2.45
a04-33 Caruso Se Pel Ceil w Ruffo Otella 1914 2.47
n04-34 Caruso Narrative   2.10
a04-35 Caruso Di quella pira Trovatore 1906 1.33
n04-36 Caruso Narrative   1.51
a04-37 Caruso Testa Adorata Boheme 1911 0.58

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