Enrico Caruso

Postcard of Carusoca. 1910.

A good companion to this picture might be the interesting early Caruso recording from 1903, when he was about 30.  I find this image and recording personally interesting since I have lived in San Francisco:  Caruso was performing in the city and staying at The Palace, then the best hotel west of the Mississippi, when at 5:12 am Pacific Standard Time on Wednesday, April 18, 1906, the Great Earthquke happened.  It is said that he ran out of the hotel into the street in his nightclothes shouting, "Terremoto!" and vowing never to return to the city.

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  • Caruso. My dad loved singing opera, and he was a huge fan of Caruso. As a child, I watched the movie about Caruso's life, portrayed by Mario Lanza. It was titled 'The Great Caruso.' I vividly recall the scene with 'Ave Maria' sung with the boys' choir. Hearing Mario Lanza sing has always held a special place in my heart; his voice reminded me of my late father's. The same timbre.


  • Another biopic about classical music is The Great Waltz (1938,) a not very historically accurate "Hollywoodization" of the life of Johann Strauss.  Cinema historians will be interested in knowing that although Julien Duvivier is credited as director, Josef von Sternberg and Victor Fleming were uncredited co-directors.  But for people interested in classical music, the film's main attraction will an absolutely astonishing performance of soprano Miliza Korjus.  The film is probably available from some streaming services that specialize in classic cinema.

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