1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Caruso, Enrico

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CARUSO, ENRICO (1873-1921), operatic tenor, was born in Naples, Feb. 25 1873. He was early apprenticed to a mechanical engineer. He began to sing in the choirs at Naples when he was 11, and later studied for three years under Guglielmo Vergine. He made his début in 1894 in L'Amico Francesco at the Teatro Nuovo, Naples. He first won marked success as Marcello in La Bohème, at Milan, in 1898; and at La Scala theatre in that city, he sang for the next four years. From 1899 to 1903 he was at St. Petersburg in the winter, and in the summer at Buenos Aires. But meanwhile he appeared also in many cities, including Moscow, Warsaw, Rome, Paris and London (Covent Garden 1902), everywhere being warmly greeted. In America he first appeared in 1903 at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, where for 18 years he was the leading tenor. He made an extensive concert tour through the United States in 1917. He had a very extensive Italian and French repertory, but never essayed Wagnerian rôles. He won special success in Aïda, Carmen, Huguenots, L'Elisir d'Amore, Pagliacci, Rigoletto and Samson. He died Aug. 2 1921 at Naples.