Caruso, Enrico

orig. Errico Caruso

born Feb. 27, 1873, Naples, Italy
died Aug. 2, 1921, Naples

Italian tenor.

Apprenticed to a mechanical engineer at age 10, at 18 he began to sing in public in his free time. He attracted the notice of a teacher and made his professional debut in 1894. He sang his best-known role, Canio in Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, for the first time in 1896. He recovered from a disastrous La Scala debut in 1900 and within two years had gained the high notes that made him an international star and a legend. He sang at the Metropolitan Opera (1903–20) in almost 60 roles, becoming the most famous male opera star of his time. His warm, appealing tenor voice of great emotive power made his recordings (which include some of the first vocal recordings ever made) best-sellers for decades after his death.

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▪ Italian opera singer
original name  Errico Caruso 
born Feb. 25, 1873, Naples, Italy
died Aug. 2, 1921, Naples
 the most admired Italian operatic tenor of the early 20th century and one of the first musicians to document his voice on gramophone recordings.

      Caruso was born into a poor family. Although he was a musical child who sang Neapolitan folk songs everywhere and joined his parish choir at the age of nine, he received no formal music training until his study with Guglielmo Vergine at age 18. Within three years, in 1894, he made his operatic debut, in Mario Morelli's L'Amico Francesco in Naples at the Teatro Nuovo. Four years later, after adding a number of impressive roles to his repertoire, he was asked to create the role of Loris in the premiere of Umberto Giordano's Fedora in Milan. He was a sensation and soon had engagements in Moscow, St. Petersburg (Russia), and Buenos Aires. He made his La Scala debut with La Bohème (1900). In 1901, after being unfavourably received in his performance in L'elisir d'amore in Naples, he vowed never again to sing in Naples, and he kept his word.

      Caruso then created the chief tenor parts in Adriana Lecouvreur, Germania, and La fanciulla del West, and for the La Scala company the tenor roles in Le Maschere and L'elisir d'amore. World recognition came in the spring of 1902 after he sang in La Bohème at Monte Carlo and in Rigoletto at London's Covent Garden. He made his American debut in Rigoletto at the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on Nov. 23, 1903, and continued to open each season there for the next 17 years, presenting 36 roles in all. His last public appearance—his 607th performance with the Metropolitan—was as Eléazar in La Juive (Dec. 24, 1920).

      Caruso became the most celebrated and highest paid of his contemporaries worldwide. He made recordings of about 200 operatic excerpts and songs; many of them are still being published. His voice was sensuous, lyrical, and vigorous in dramatic outbursts and became progressively darker in timbre in his later years. Its appealing tenor qualities were unusually rich in lower registers and abounded in warmth, vitality, and smoothness.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Caruso, Enrico — (1873–1921)    The “great Caruso” was one of the most famous opera tenors of all time. Like Placido Domingo or Luciano Pavarotti today, he also reached a wide public: His recording in 1902 of Leoncavallo’s Vesti la giubba was the first gramophone …   Historical Dictionary of modern Italy

  • Caruso, Enrico — ► (1873 1921) Tenor italiano. Se le consideró el mejor de su época. * * * orig. Errico Caruso (27 feb. 1873, Nápoles, Italia–2 ago. 1921, Nápoles). Tenor italiano. Aprendiz de un ingeniero mecánico desde los diez años, a los 18 comenzó a cantar… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Caruso,Enrico — Ca·ru·so (kə ro͞oʹsō, zō), Enrico. 1873 1921. Library of Congress Italian operatic tenor who with his powerful, pure, emotive voice is considered one of the greatest singers ever. * * * …   Universalium

  • Caruso, Enrico —  (1874–1921) Italian tenor …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Caruso — Caruso, Enrico …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Enrico Caruso — (born Errico Caruso ; February 25 1873 ndash; August 2 1921) was an Italian opera singer. As has been stated repeatedly in print by reputable critics, biographers and musicologists, he was one of the greatest and most influential tenors in… …   Wikipedia

  • Enrico Caruso Compact Disc discography — Enrico Caruso with phonograph This is a list of some notable compilations of recordings of the famous Italian opera tenor Enrico Caruso (1873–1921) on compact disc. Caruso died nearly three decades before the commercial introduction of long… …   Wikipedia

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  • CARUSO (E.) — CARUSO ENRICO (1873 1921) Le plus illustre ténor de son temps et l’un des plus célèbres de l’histoire lyrique. Caruso naquit à Naples, où, tout jeune, il chanta des ballades populaires dans les tavernes, après avoir tenu les parties d’alto dans… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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