Gloria Caruso Murray, 79, Artist and Tenor's Daughter NY Times - December 18, 1999
Enrico Caruso Jr., 82; Actor and Son of Tenor NY Times - April 11, 1987
Note from Ida Sanchez about the Remastering of Caruso's Recordings
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3. Among other firsts, he participated in the first Public Radio Broadcast in 1910.
Comments from Our Readers
***** Italian type words and male voice made me think of Caruso. Googling images for Caruso's funeral brought up the hint picture. Finding which of Caruso's 260 recordings was used seemed to be a bit much. Googling Caruso's famous songs brought up a discussion that mentioned three songs. With the titles before me, I was able to recognize "mobile" and then the full title.
***** Waited to the last moment to do this. Saw that it was an audio quiz and I am losing my hearing so really didn't want to listen. Didn't see the photo-hint until late. Once I got the Caruso, the music I recognized, but not the name. Went to Wikipedia and listened to all the recordings until I found the right one. I had to look up the meaning of the song....don't speak Italian!!
***** Team Fletcher (+ Jamey Turner) immediately recognized Enrico Caruso singing "La Donna e Mobile" which is about the supposed fickleness of a woman. Mary and I grew up with memories of our father listening to performances from the Metropolitan Opera House every Saturday. Memories! Memories!
Thanks again for everything. Mary wrote today to have me tell you "And, yes, to Colleen, the live Met broadcasts are definitely still happening on Saturday afternoons during the Metropolitan season. We get it on both the classical public radio station here in DC and on the one from Baltimore. *****
Grace Hertz and Mary Turner Team Fletcher
***** Enrico Caruso singing La Donna e Mobile (The Woman is Fickle). It is about lust, desire, love and deceit...women tend to change their minds, or so I've heard!
[It could also be about a gal named Donna from Alabama!!]
***** LOVE the audio quiz. Having just watched the James Bond movie Skyfall, I temporarily abandoned my neoluddite status and uploaded the Shazam app on my iPhone. Lo and behold, it IDed the song for me, but skeptic as I am, I verified it by comparing the sample with recordings found elsewhere on the Internet (ca. 1907-8). BTW, La donna è mobile has been stuck in my head ALL DAY. It's really catchy. Kind of driving me crazy!!!!
***** This one was too easy and in my field of knowledge. I recognized the aria immediately and assumed it was Carusso, but just for kicks, I googled "famous rigoletto recordings" and went to videos, the first one I saw with Carusso and "La Donna mobile" and clicked, turned out to be the one I was looking for. It also immediately made sense that the third question was about recordings, which was confirmed by his Wikipedia biography.
According to the RCA Victor database, they did 3 recordings of "La Donna é Mobile", one in 1904 with piano (Carusso makes a very similar interpretation, but he cheats a little more attacking the high G# and A# than in the older version (he still cheats on those). The second one was the 1908 one.
The third one has kept me still wondering, according to the records it was done in 1932, more than 10 years after Caruso's death. Which may indicate an early remastering of some kind. For some reason I couldn't listen to it (either it wasn't playing correctly or they didn't have it, can't remember).
One of the websites I cited lets you listen to the arias, and by switching back and forth between your version and theirs, you can compare them (and the background instruments) and determine if they are identical recordings, or just similar voices or not. I am sure there are some people who have listened to enough Caruso that they can quickly tell the difference between him and other contemporaries, but not I. However, even I can tell the difference between modern tenors such as Pavorotti and Domingo and so on, given the better quality of recordings.
For me, it's the singing that keeps me coming back to opera -- I don't need to know the overwrought plot lines or specific meanings of the lyrics. For example, "O mio babbino caro" ("Oh My Beloved Father") from Gianni Schicchi (1918, Puccini) is one of the most beautiful, and emotional, pieces you'll ever hear, but when I learned the plot and actual meaning of the lyrics, they sort of detracted from the experience. However, I freely admit I get bored with most of the parts between the spectacular showpiece arias, and most of my opera listening is to excerpts and collections of arias, not whole works.
I enjoyed the audio quiz as a change of pace; maybe one in every 5 or 10 quizes, not 50-50.
***** I got on to photo hint and used words Frenchman lying in state and found contest photo result on Edward's Photos of The Day - Lying in State BlogSpot: A collection of photos ranging from saints to singers and a few peasants under glass.
***** First of all - I am not an opera fan and know very little about it. However,
(1) I did guess Enrico Caruso because of his general fame. I used the photo hint to confirmed it was Caruso.
(2) I listened to dozen songs on youtube by Caruso. My best guess is from act three of Rigoletto, "La Donna e Mobile"
This was an interesting quiz. Something very different. I took me a while to get the right song. I did get luck to chose Caruso first. other opera singers would have made it a lot harder for me.
***** I did like the audio quiz. You could run the gambit on different types of recordings. Could be interesting.
Hadn't listened to Caruso in many a year. Grew up with opera then grew into Broadway and movie musicals. As you say you have to listen to the drama and not just the singing.
Looking forward to stretching my brain some more on your quizzes.
***** I didn't know off the top of my head who it was - I should have. Also, the name of the piece of music eluded me although I have listened to it many times.
From the quality of the recording I decided it was from a long time ago - one of the early tenors. So I had to do some searching using the photo hint. For the music, since the name wouldn't come to me, once I had the artist I listened to a few recordings of his music until I found the right one That was a lot of fun!
I really enjoyed the audio quiz. It reminded me I don't listen to nearly enough music although I really enjoy most genres.
***** Actually, I knew the tune very well - used to imitate it as a kid, BUT I never knew what it was called and I have no idea where it was that I heard it originally. Instead of singing the lyrics,which I never understood Iwould simply sing "LALALA LA LALA, LALALA LA LALA. (LOL) So, yes I had to puzzle it out. Originally was thinking that maybe it was from the Barber of Seville, but found out soon this was not the case.
One reason you probably heard the music as a child is that many an advertisements and cartoons use classical music because the copyright has expired. You can rerecord it and use it without paying royalties. Remember the theme song from Lone Ranger? That's the William Tell Overture. There are many other classical pieces you would recognize without really being able to identity them except with the product they were used to promote! - Q. Gen.
***** Yes, I did enjoy the audio quiz. I appreciated the hint, though. That was the only way I could figure it out.
***** i like anything different – which the quiz is every single week, leading me down roads i would not have encountered any other way.
you know i had trouble getting to the sound but i feel free to write you about things like that, so sure – bring on anything!
i like opera more for the music – so prefer Mozart, verdi, some wagner. i also do better if it’s on PBS with english subtitles, so i can get into the drama. i cannot sit in a theater for opera unless it’s mozart.
I enjoyed [the audio quiz] a great deal. Back in the 70's I bought my first portable Victrola. Consequently i collected a lot of 78's. Several Caruso. As for opera, it is a joke in our family as i am the only one who enjoys it. I put on Puccinni very loudly and sing along even louder.
Actually, the audio quiz is what pulled me in. I hit the wrong "favorite" and there was Caruso -- one of the few opera pieces (and performers) that I could immediately identify.
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I had already answer the questions, but I had been left with the urge to find the specific recording and the details of it.
First thing that came to my mind after knowing by the piece that it was going to be a tenor, was that it did not sound like an early recording. I was actually thinking I would hear Pavarotti, but immediately after Caruso started singing I could tell it had to be him.
Finding the answer was very easy, I googled "famous rigoletto recordings" and found it in youtube right away, however, the version I found in youtube did sound like a very early recording, so I knew the one here had been remastered.
That led me to 2 questions: when was the original recording made and when was it remastered.
As usual, found several misleading sites with it, some claiming 1907 and some 1908. But after being more specific about finding the whole inventory of Caruso's recordings, found the file in the Victor library: victor.library.ucsb.edu/index.php/matrix/detail/200006957/B-6033-La_don na_mobile which says that the recording was made in Candem in march 1908, contrary to what a lot of posters claimed of being in NYC in 1907.
One of my google searches insisted me to go to Amazon, which apparently has a collection of all of his recordings (18 years of doing it is a lot!). There, I found this specific one and that led me to an album called "Caruso 2000";, which remastered several of his original recordings.
Enrico Caruso (February 25, 1873 – August 2, 1921) was an Italian tenor. He sang to great acclaim at the major opera houses of Europe and the Americas, appearing in a wide variety of roles from the Italian and French repertoires that ranged from the lyric to the dramatic. Caruso also made approximately 290 commercially released recordings from 1902 to 1920. All of these recordings, which span most of his stage career, are available today on CDs and as digital downloads.
Caruso's 1904 recording of "Vesti la giubba" from Leoncavallo's opera Pagliacci was the first sound recording to sell a million copies.
Enrico Caruso was born in Naples in the Via San Giovannello agli Ottocalli 7 on February 25, 1873. He was the third of seven children and one of only three to survive infancy. Caruso's father, Marcellino, was a mechanic and foundry worker. Initially, Marcellino thought his son should adopt the same trade, and at the age of 11, the boy was apprenticed to a mechanical engineer named Palmieri who constructed public water fountains. During this period he sang in his church choir, and his voice showed enough promise for him to contemplate a possible career in music.
Caruso was encouraged in his early musical ambitions by his mother, who died in 1888. To raise cash for his family, he found work as a street singer in Naples and performed at cafes and soirees. Aged 18, he used the fees he had earned by singing at an Italian resort to buy his first pair of new shoes.
At the age of 22, Caruso made his professional stage debut in serious music. The date was March 15, 1895 at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples. The work in which he appeared
Enrico Caruso Jr., an actor, singer and the last surviving son of the great tenor, died after suffering a heart attack Thursday at his home in Jacksonville, Fla. He was 82 years old.
Mr. Caruso was born on Sept. 7, 1904. His mother was the soprano Ada Giachetti. Several years after his father's death in 1921, Mr. Caruso moved to Hollywood, where he starred in two Spanish-language motion pictures, ''The Fortune Teller'' (1934) and ''The Singer of Naples'' (1935).
Like his father, he was a tenor. In the late 1930's, he sang regular concerts in California, and made a concert tour of Cuba. After World War II, he gave up singing permanently and, under the name of Henry De Costa, worked as a department head for the import-export firm of Dunnington & Arnold until 1971. At the time of his death, he had just completed a book of memoirs, entitled ''Enrico Caruso, My Father and My Family,'' with Andrew Farkas.
He is survived by his wife, Harriett Covington Caruso, of Jacksonville; two sons, Enrico Cesare, of Sacrofonto, Italy, and Wladimiro, of Milan; a half-sister, Gloria Murray of Florida; two grandchildren, and one great-grandson.
Gloria Caruso Murray, a visual artist who was the last surviving child of Enrico Caruso, died on Dec. 5 at St. Luke's Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla. She was 79 and had briefly tried to live up to the musical world's sentimental fantasy that she had inherited her father's vocal abilities.
She died of cancer, said Aldo Mancusi, curator of the Caruso Museum in Brooklyn.
Only hours after his daughter's birth on Dec. 18, 1919, at the Knickerbocker
was a now-forgotten opera, L'Amico Francesco, by the amateur composer Domenico Morelli. A string of further engagements in provincial opera houses followed, and he received instruction from the conductor and voice teacher Vincenzo Lombardi that improved his high notes and polished his style.
During the final few years of the 19th century, Caruso performed at a succession of theaters throughout Italy until, in 1900, he was rewarded with a contract to sing at La Scala in Milan, the country's premier opera house. His La Scala debut occurred on December 26 of that year in the part of Rodolfo in Giacomo Puccini's La bohème with Arturo Toscanini conducting. Audiences in Monte Carlo, Warsaw and Buenos Aires also heard Caruso sing during this pivotal phase of his career and, in 1899–1900, he appeared before the Tsar and the
Caruso as the Duke in Rigoletto
Russian aristocracy at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as part of a touring company of first-class Italian singers.
The first major operatic role that Caruso was given the responsibility of creating was Loris in Umberto Giordano's Fedora, at the Teatro Lirico, Milan, on November 17, 1898. At that same theater, on November 6, 1902, he would create the role of Maurizio in Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur. (Puccini considered casting the young Caruso in the role of Cavaradossi in Tosca at its premiere in 1900, but ultimately chose the older, more established Emilio De Marchi instead.)
Caruso took part in a "grand concert" at La Scala in February 1901 that Toscanini organised to mark the recent death of Giuseppe Verdi. He embarked on his last series of La Scala performances in March 1902, creating along the way the principal tenor part in Germania by Alberto Franchetti.
A month later, he was engaged by the Gramophone & Typewriter Company to make his first group of acoustic recordings, in a Milan hotel room, for a fee of 100 pounds sterling. These 10 discs swiftly became best-sellers. Among other things, they helped to spread 29-year-old Caruso's fame throughout the English-speaking world. The management of London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, signed him for a season
of appearances in eight different operas ranging from Verdi's Aida to Don Giovanni by Mozart. His successful debut at Covent Garden occurred on May 14, 1902, as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi's Rigoletto. Covent Garden's highest-paid diva, the Australian soprano Nellie Melba, partnered him as Gilda. They would sing together often during the early 1900s. In her memoirs.
The following year, 1903, Caruso traveled to New York City to take up a contract with the Metropolitan Opera. (The gap between his London and New York engagements was filled by a series of performances in Italy, Portugal and South America.) Caruso's debut at the Met was in a new production of Rigoletto on November 23, 1903. A few months later, he began a lasting association with the Victor
Caruso in Pagliacci
Talking-Machine Company. He made his first American discs on February 1, 1904, having signed a lucrative financial deal with Victor. Thereafter, his recording career ran in tandem with his Met career, the one bolstering the other, until he died in 1921.
In addition to his regular New York engagements, Caruso gave recitals and operatic performances in a large number of cities across the United States and sang in Canada. He also continued to sing widely in Europe, appearing again at Covent Garden in 1904– 07 and 1913–14; and undertaking a UK tour in 1909. Audiences in France, Belgium, Monaco, Austria, Hungary and Germany heard him, too, prior to the outbreak of World War I. Caruso's fan base at the Met was not restricted, however, to the wealthy. Members of America's middle-classes also paid to hear him sing—or buy copies of his recordings—and he enjoyed a substantial following among New York's 500,000 Italian immigrants.
From 1916 onwards, Caruso began adding heroic parts such as Samson, John of Leyden, and Eléazar to his repertoire, while he planned to tackle Otello (the most
demanding role written by Verdi for the tenor voice) at the Met during 1921.
Caruso toured the South American nations of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil in 1917, and two years later performed in Mexico City. In 1920, he was paid the then-enormous sum of 10,000 American dollars a night to sing in Havana, Cuba.
The United States had entered World War I in 1917, sending troops to Europe. Caruso did extensive charity work during the conflict, raising money for war-related patriotic causes by giving concerts and participating enthusiastically in Liberty Bond drives. The tenor had shown himself to be a shrewd businessman since arriving in America. He put a sizable proportion of his earnings from record
Caruso with gramophone.
royalties and singing fees into a range of investments. Biographer Michael Scott writes that by the end of the war in 1918, Caruso's annual income tax bill amounted to $154,000.
Dorothy Caruso noted that her husband's health began a distinct downward spiral in late 1920 after returning from a lengthy North American concert tour. In his biography, Enrico Caruso, Jr. points to an on-stage injury suffered by Caruso as the possible trigger of his fatal illness. A falling pillar in Samson and Delilah on December 3 had hit him on the back, over the left kidney (and not on the chest as popularly reported). A few days before a performance of Pagliacci at the Met (Pierre Key says it was December 4, the day after the Samson and Delilah injury) he suffered a chill and developed a cough and a "dull pain in his side". It appeared to be a severe episode of bronchitis.
During a performance of L'elisir d'amore by Donizetti at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on December 11, 1920, he suffered a throat haemorrhage and the performance was canceled at the end of Act 1. Following this incident, a clearly unwell Caruso gave
only three more performances at the Met, the final one being as Eléazar in Halévy's La Juive, on December 24, 1920.
By Christmas Day, the pain in his side was so excruciating that he was screaming. Dorothy summoned the hotel physician, who gave Caruso some morphine and codeine and called in another doctor, Evan M. Evans. Evans brought in three other doctors and Caruso finally received a correct diagnosis: purulent pleurisy and empyema.
Caruso's health deteriorated further during the new year. He experienced episodes of intense pain because of the infection and underwent seven surgical procedures to drain fluid from his chest and lungs. He returned to Naples to recuperate
Caruso signing autographs.
from the most serious of the operations, during which part of a rib had been removed. According to Dorothy Caruso, he seemed to be recovering, but allowed himself to be examined by an unhygienic local doctor and his condition worsened dramatically after that.
The Bastianelli brothers, eminent medical practitioners with a clinic in Rome, recommended that his left kidney be removed. He was on his way to Rome to see them but, while staying overnight in the Vesuvio Hotel in Naples, he took an alarming turn for the worse and was given morphine to help him sleep.
Caruso died at the hotel shortly after 9:00 am local time, on August 2, 1921. He was 48. The Bastianellis attributed the likely cause of death to peritonitis arising from a burst subrenal abscess. The King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III, opened the Royal Basilica of
Hotel just a stone's throw from the old Metropolitan Opera House in New York, Caruso, then the most famous operatic tenor in the world, exuberantly tossed the girl into the air, peered into her mouth and announced, ''Ah, she has the vocal cords, just like her daddy!''
A year and a half later, Caruso was dead at 48 -- a loss that nourished a popular fantasy that his child would also have an extraordinary voice.
At age 7, when she and her mother returned to New York from a vacation in Europe, a New York newspaper ran the headline ''Gloria Caruso, Here With a Voice'' and pronounced her ''a potential opera star of the first magnitude.''
The next year she made her first record. At 11, she made her first public appearance, delivering a radio address on behalf of a charity headed by President Herbert Hoover. Later that year she made a test recording for RCA Victor, and John McCormack, another renowned tenor, gave her singing lessons and announced that she had promise.
The press had an immense appetite for even the slightest tidbits of news about the great Caruso's daughter. But it gradually became apparent that she did not have the voice to follow her father.
In 1942, Ms. Murray told a reporter that she was studying art at the Art Students League in New York and that she had come to prefer the visual arts to music. ''I've always been torn between art and music,'' she said. ''Daddy drew and sculptured as a hobby. And Mommy draws. Art is as much in the family as singing.''
In marrying Caruso, her mother, an American named Dorothy Benjamin, created a tumult in 1918. Her father, Park Benjamin, a wealthy patent lawyer and New York society figure, fiercely opposed the match between his daughter, then 25, to Caruso, who was 45. After the couple eloped, Park Benjamin disowned her. When he died in 1925, he left her $1 from his substantial estate.
In 1943, Gloria Caruso married Ensign Michael Hunt Murray, who had left Harvard to become a naval aviator in World War II. The couple had two sons but later divorced.
Ms. Murray set up a studio in New York City where she painted both portraits and landscapes. Later she lived in Miami and, for the last 10 years, in Jacksonville.
Andrew Farkas, co-author with Enrico Caruso Jr. of ''Enrico Caruso: My Father and My Family'' (Amadeus Press, 1990), said that Ms. Murray's paintings were ''of good quality, although she sold very few.''
''She became rather reclusive,'' Mr. Farkas said, adding, ''She had been answering questions about her father for a long time.'' Eric D. Murray, one of Ms. Murray's sons, said his mother had become occupied with managing the family estate after her mother died in 1957.
Matters were complicated because Caruso had left no will. In 1928, a court in Trenton had ruled that Gloria Caruso was entitled to two-thirds of the royalties on her father's phonograph records, sold by the Victor Talking Machine Company.
Gloria Caruso attended Miss Hewitt's Classes in New York City, the Ozanne School in Paris, the Bishop School in La Jolla, Calif., and Miss Nixon's School in Florence, Italy.
In addition to her son Eric, of Maryland, she is survived by her other son, Colin D. Murray of Jacksonville.
Mr. Farkas wrote that Enrico Caruso had four children from a relationship with Ada Giacchetti, a soprano who had left her husband to live with the tenor before his marriage to Miss Benjamin. Only one, Enrico Caruso Jr., sought a career as a singer. All are deceased.
the Church of San Francesco di Paola for Caruso's funeral, which was attended by thousands of people. His embalmed body was preserved in a glass sarcophagus at Del Pianto Cemetery in Naples for mourners to view. In 1929, Dorothy Caruso had his remains sealed permanently in an ornate stone tomb.
During his lifetime, Caruso received many orders, decorations, testimonials and other kinds of honors from monarchs, governments and miscellaneous cultural bodies of the various nations in which he sang. He was also the recipient of Italian knighthoods. In 1917, he was elected an honorary member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national fraternity for men involved in music, by the fraternity's Alpha chapter of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. One unusual award bestowed on him was that of
Caruso's funeral procession
"Honorary Captain of the New York Police Force". Caruso was posthumously awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. On February 27 of that same year, the United States Postal Service issued a 22-cent postage stamp in his honor. He was voted into Gramophone Magazine's Hall of Fame in 2012.
Thanks to Sharon Levy for submitting these articles about the first public radio performance starring Enrico Caruso