Caruso, Enrico [key], 1873–1921, Italian operatic tenor, b. Naples. The natural beauty, range, and power of his voice made him one of the greatest singers in the history of opera. He studied for three years with Guglielmo Vergine and made his operatic debut in Naples in 1894. His first major success came in London in 1902, and he achieved even greater triumph with his American debut in 1903 at the Metropolitan Opera as the duke in Rigoletto. He remained the reigning favorite at the Metropolitan until a short time before his death (from pleurisy). He sang more than 50 roles in Italian and French operas, such as La Traviata, Aida, La Bohème, Tosca, and Carmen. After his death his recordings perpetuated his fame.
See biographies by D. P. B. Caruso (new ed. 1963) and S. Jackson (1972).
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