Original voice recording: 1916
Enrico Caruso (born Errico Caruso; February 25, 1873 -- August 2, 1921) was an Italian opera singer and one of the most famous tenors in history. Caruso was also the most popular singer in any genre in the first two decades of the 20th Century and one of the most important pioneers of recorded music. Caruso's popular recordings and his extraordinary voice, known for its mature power, beauty and unequalled richness of tone, made him perhaps the best-known operatic star of his era. Such was his influence on singing style, virtually all subsequent Italianate tenors (and many non-Italian tenors) have been his heirs to a greater or lesser extent. He remains famous, though he predated the publicity that would aid later stars of opera.
During his career, Enrico Caruso made over 260 recordings and made millions of dollars from the sale of his 78 rpm records. While Caruso sang at many of the world's great opera houses including La Scala in Milan and Covent Garden in London, he is best known as the leading tenor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City for 17 years. Maestro Arturo Toscanini, who conducted some of the operas that Caruso sang in at the Met, considered him one of the greatest artists with whom he ever worked. Caruso's technique and style combined in a unique way the finest aspects of elegant, technically-polished 19th Century tenor singing with the emotionally-charged delivery and exciting, thrusting timbre demanded by the Verismo composers of the early 20th Century.
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