Caruso, Enrico

BORN 25 Feb 1873, Napoli, Campania: via Santi Giovanni e Paolo n° 7 - DIED 2 Aug 1921, Napoli, Campania
GRAVE LOCATION Napoli, Campania: Cimitero di Santa Maria del Pianto, Via Nuova del Campo 33

Enrico Caruso came from a modest family. His father was a mechanic and foundry worker and when he eleven, Enrico was apprenticed to a mechanical engineer who worked on water fountains. He sang in the church choir and his singing was encouraged by his mother. She died in 1888 and after that he sang on the street and in cafes to earn some money for the family. He made steady progress and on 15/03/1895 he debuted at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples in Mario Morelli's opera " L'Amico Francesco". After that he sang at provincial opera houses and took lessons from Vincenzo Lombardi. Op 26 December 1900 he first sang at La Scala in Milan in Puccini's "La Bohème", conducted by Toscanini. By that time his star was rising and he sang in Buenos Aires, Saint Petersburg and Moscow. In December 1901 he sang at the San Carlo Opera house in Naples for the first time.

In 1903 he debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City asthe duke of Mantua in Verdi's "Rigoletto" with Marcella Sembrich as Gilda. In 1904 he made his first record for the Victor Talking Machine Company and many would follow. Also in 1904 he bought the Villa Bellosguardo near Florence. In New York he usually stayed at the Knickerbocker Hotel. Apart from performing in New York he frequently appeared at Covent Garden in London. In 1917 he toured in South America and in 1919 he performed in Mexico City.

He had an affair with the married soprano Ada Giachetti from 1897 to 1908 and she bore him four sons. Rodolfo (1898-1951) and Enrico Jr. (1904-1987) survived. Towards the end of World War I he courted the socialite Dorothy Park Benjamin (1893-1955) and against the wishes of her father they married on 20 Aug 1918. In 1919 their daughter Gloria (d.1999) was born. In 1921 his health detoriated and he had surgery to drain fluid from his chest and lungs. On his way to Rome to have a kidney removed he stayed at the Vesuvio Hotel in Naples where he died on 2 August 1921.

His body was embalmed and preserved in a glass sarcophagus at the Santa Maria del Del Pianto cemetery in Naples. In 1929 Dorothy had them placed in a stone tomb.

Related persons
• performed with Destinn, Emmy
• cooperated with Farrar, Geraldine
• performed with Litvinne, Félia
• was a friend of Mahler, Alma
• was supported by Toscanini, Arturo

17/11/1898First performance of Giordano's opera "Fedora" at the Teatro Lirico in Milan. Giordano was the conductor, Gemma Bellincioni was Fedora and Enrico Caruso performed the role of her lover, Loris Ipanov. 
18/1/1907Puccini's "Manon Lescaut" is performed at the MET in New York. Lina Cavalieri sang the title part and Puccini was present during the performance. Other singers were Enrico Caruso, Antonio Scotti. Arturo Vigna was the conductor. [Puccini, Giacomo]


The mausoleum of Enrico Caruso at the Cimitero di Santa Maria del Pianto, Napoli.
Picture by Androom (16 Feb 2020)


Plaque near the grave of Enrico Caruso at the Cimitero di Santa Maria del Pianto, Napoli.
Picture by Androom (16 Feb 2020)


The tomb of Enrico Caruso at the Cimitero di Santa Maria del Pianto, Napoli.
Picture by Androom (16 Feb 2020)


Oosthoek Encyclopedie, 1948
Enrico Caruso - Wikipedia
Fedora (opera) - Wikipedia
Manon Lescaut (Puccini) - Wikipedia

Carvalho, Léon

Published: 11 Apr 2021
Last update: 11 Apr 2021