Biography of Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

Italian tenor, born in Naples on February 25, 1873 and died in his hometown on August 2, 1921. Very acclaimed by the critics and the public of his time, is considered to be one of the universal geniuses of bel canto.

Enrico Caruso.

Member of a large family consisting of seven siblings (including occupied third place), soon had to contribute to the economic sustainability of their own, so it turned to his innate talent for singing and began to play tunes popular in local public of its neighbourhood (such as plazas, taverns and cafés) and in religious ceremonies.

The did not have resources to send you to school, his mother taught him the rudiments of the language and arithmetic. This little training, he/she entered at an early age as an apprentice in a machine shop, where he/she managed to earn enough money to pay for a few evening lessons of singing in the school Coral in Naples. There he/she was surprised to classmates and teachers for the range and quality of his voice, and soon acquired a deserved popular popularity that allowed him to begin to interpret pieces alone at the main temples of Naples. He/She made his debut with one of these solos in the famous Church of San Severino.

His adolescence was overshadowed by the death of his mother, struck when the future tenor had only fifteen years. Soon after, his father returned to join in marriage, circumstances disapproved by the young Enrico, who thus began to distance himself from his family.

At the age of eighteen, after having devoted much of its brief existence to their job duties, he/she decided that it should be exploited thoroughly the natural talent he/she owned and began receiving vocal lessons, taught by the teachers Guglielmo Vergine and Vincenzo Lombardi. So things, in 1894, only twenty-one years of age, climbed for the first time on stage as a professional interpreter, to play a small role in the play L'amico Francesco.

Already launched to bel canto, on February 2, 1895 Enrico Caruso played characters from la Traviata and Rigoletto at the Cathedral of Caserta; and, one month later (specifically, on 15 March of that year), made his official debut as a tenor at the new theatre of Naples, with a new representation of L'amico Francesco, Morelli. Become, from then on, one of the great revelations of late 19th century lyric genre, began to lavish performances on different stages of the Mediterranean (such as those of Caserta, Salerno and Cairo, as well as his native Naples), until, in 1898, he/she obtained his first big hit of universal resonance, presented at La Scala in Milan to offer a Masterful interpretation of the role of Loris, Fedora, the immortal opera by Umberto Giordano (1867-1948).

His fledgling career entered, from this performance, a dizzying phase that took him, from success to success, by numerous operatic scenarios from all over Europe (Petersburgo, Rome, Lisbon, Dresden, Berlin...); and arriving in Monte Carlo, he/she returned to reap a triumph of international impact with his rendition of Rodolfo, character from La Bohemia, Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924).

This work definitely launched him to stardom, in such a way that, at the dawn of the 20th century, it had already been hired in the major capitals of the world operatic circuit (Rome, Buenos Aires, Milan, etc.). By that time, sang also in Covent Garden, London, to spend in 1903 to the famous Metropolitan Opera House of New York, where he/she charmed the critics and the public with a superb interpretation of the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, Verdi (1813-1901) - paper which had also played in the aforementioned scenario London-. And liked so much your voice in the city of the skyscrapers, which was hired to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House for 18 consecutive seasons.

In 1904, Enrico Caruso signed an advantageous agreement with company Víctor Talking Machine, embryo, which would then be the powerful record label RCA Records, for which he/she made numerous recordings in Exchange for succulent sums of money. Became, thus, the pioneer of music record label support, which contributed significantly to the dissemination of bel canto among these popular classes that the own divo proceeded. It is estimated that he/she came to record more than two hundred and fifty themes throughout his successful career as a tenor, almost all of them operatic arias, although it also included on their albums a different genre, like the popular theme song "Over there", which reached number one in the lists of best-selling albums in the United States in 1918.

As a live singer, he/she came to develop a repertoire of some forty operas, almost all of them of Italian composers. It excelled especially in works such as Adriana Lecouvreur, Cilea (1866?)- and La fanciulla del West by Puccini.

Following his first New York success, fame spread by all United States of America, which led to its presentation in Washington, in a premiere attended by the US President Theodoro Roosevelt (1858-1919). Soon after, back in Europe, he/she travelled to the United Kingdom and he/she was received in audience deprived by the King Eduardo VII (1841-1910) and his wife Alejandra from Denmark.

Following the success obtained by their recordings for the phonograph, Caruso went on to collect fifteen thousand dollars for performance (when its initial cache was $2 per night). These fees were justified by their record sales and, of course, by the full to overflowing that occurred in the stalls of the theaters where their presence was announced. Thus, for example, was well remembered his performance at the Paris Opera in 1910, where he/she played one their favorite characters: Radames, Aida. Throughout his career, he/she also achieved memorable re-creations of Don Álvaro, a central figure of the force of destiny.

On March 22, 1919, in the Metropolitan Theater of New York, Enrico Caruso held its twenty-five years as operatic tenor; and, a few months later, in the Plaza de Toros de Mexico, it became twenty-five thousand spectators gather to offer a new version of your favorite paper (Radames).

At the beginning of 1921 it was affected by a serious medical condition in the throat that forced him to suspend all of its planned activities to undergo delicate surgery. During the post-operative process emerged serious complications they advised him to return to Naples to try to recover with his family (had two sons with Ada Giachetti soprano); but the attentions that lavished you his failed to prevent the death of the great tenor, occurring when it had not yet reached the half-century of existence.