Enrico Caruso, Prima Voce: Enrico Caruso

Adam Sweeting

By Adam Sweeting

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Prima Voce: Enrico Caruso

Enrico Caruso
One of opera’s greatest tenors.

Born in Naples in 1873, Caruso began his legendary career as a singing waiter, an experience which helped him develop a breadth of repertoire which made not just the world's best-known operatic tenor, but also one of the world's most popular singers of any kind. He turned his back on his hometown early in his career after being booed by the audience, claiming he would only ever return “to eat spaghetti,” but his fame spread rapidly across Europe to the United States, where he became a superstar at the Met. In the early years of the 20th century, Caruso became an early adopter of new-fangled recording technology to spread his reputation yet further. He died in 1921, aged 48, but his huge stash of recordings has subsequently been repackaged and remastered many times. For a chance to hear the unique colours in his voice shine through try “Questa o quella,” a highlight from Verdi's Rigoletto.