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Legends of Opera

Enrico CarusoEnrico Caruso

(February 25, 1873 – August 2, 1921)

Click here for recordings and performances by Enrico Caruso.


Legendary Italian tenor Enrico Caruso 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 roles to the dramatic.

He also made approximately 290 commercially released recordings from 1902 to 1920- the earliest times of commercial recording.

He performed 863 appearances at the Metropolitan Opera and still remains one of the world's most admired singers ever.

Aside from his fabulous voice he was very much an excellent businessman - keenly attuned to realise the power of the new technology in recording and he embraced it fully.

Colleagues at the time often rejected it but Dame Nellie Melba and Adelina Patti also realised its importance and they also exploited it.

Caruso earned millions from royalties from recordings and of the retail sales of early 78 records.

He also never shied away from appearing in newsreels and even took part in the first public radio broadcast to be transmitted in the United States as well as portraying Edgardo in a filmed scene from Lucia di Lammermoor.

In 1918, he appeared in a silent film My Cousin which included a sequence of him onstage performing an aria from Il Pagliacci.

The following year he took part in another movie but they both flopped at the box office- the public wanted to see him on the opera stage.

He sang at La Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House, in London, the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, he was also the leading tenor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City for 18 consecutive seasons. In 1910, he created the role of Dick Johnson in Giacomo Puccini's La fanciulla del West.

He sang a broad spectrum of roles, ranging from lyric, to spinto, to dramatic parts, in the Italian and French repertoires. In the German repertoire, Caruso sang only two roles, Assad (in Karl Goldmark's The Queen of Sheba) and Richard Wagner's Lohengrin.

He died at the age of just 47 after a short illness.

Enrico Caruso is one of the featured stars on our "Legends" product range.

Click here for recordings and performances by Enrico Caruso.

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