Introduction: Enrico Caruso (03:02)
Enrico Caruso was the first legend of opera and participated at the first public broadcast of radio in New York. His mother, Anna encouraged him to pursue a career in music. The tenor débuted as Rudolfo in "La Boheme" at La Scala.
Caruso: Childhood (02:34)
Caruso was born Errico Caruso in Naples in 1873. When he turned nine, he joined the church choir. After serving in the military and working as a street singer, he made his professional stage début at Teatro Nuovo.
Caruso: Career Beginnings (04:58)
Vincenzo Lombardi encouraged the singer to hone his high notes and transformed Caruso's voice; La Scala invited Caruso to portray Luis in "Fedora." Ada Giachetti and he formed a relationship. After traveling to Monte Carlo, Warsaw, and Buenos Aires, he debuted as Rudolfo in "La Boheme."
Caruso: Growing Anxiety (04:23)
The audience booed Caruso at a performance of "L'elisir d'amore" in Naples. Arturo Toscanini conducted the Giuseppe Verdi memorial concert. The Gramophone and Typewriter Company engaged Caruso to sing ten arias.
Caruso: British Début (02:56)
The Royal Opera House Covent Garden engaged Caruso to sing the Duke of Mantua in "Rigoletto." After a successful début he toured around Europe and South America performing concerts. The tenor originated the role of Luis in "Fedora," Maurizio in "Adriana Lecouvreur," and Dick Johnson in "La Fanciulla del West."
Caruso: American Début (04:48)
Caruso starred in "Rigoletto" at the Metropolitan Opera. At an Italian restaurant, he demanded to be paid for singing. Caruso decided to take some time off for his anxiety and purchases a house near Florence.
Caruso: Household Name (02:52)
Caruso starred in "Les Huguenots" for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. An earthquake occurred during a performance of "Carmen" in San Francisco. Black Hand extortionists threatened to injure his throat if he did not pay them money; Caruso's timbre darkened and starting singing baritone.
Caruso: Superstar of Opera (03:20)
Caruso declined to appear with Nellie Melba in a tour of Australia due to the required travel. "Vesti la Guibba" became a best-selling record in America. The singer traveled the world as a singer, drew caricatures, and starred in a silent movie.
World War I Erupts (03:25)
Caruso performed at charity benefits for war-related causes and Liberty Bond drives. Dorothy Park Benjamen married the singer in 1918. In 1921, Caruso was hit in the back by a falling pillar, damaging his kidneys.
Caruso: Illness and Death (03:33)
Caruso fell ill from a throat hemorrhage in a performance of "L'elisir d'amore" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In his final performance, he portrayed Eleazar in "La Juive" at the Met. Caruso returned to Rome and died on August 2nd, 1921 in Naples; there was no autopsy.
Caruso: Funeral and Legacy (07:00)
Victor Emannuel III opened the Royal Basilica of the Church of San Francesco di Paola for Caruso's funeral. His personality and talent had inspired books and movies. He was the first opera singer to become a superstar, inspiring an entire generation of musicians.
Credits: Enrico Caruso (00:35)
Credits: Enrico Caruso
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