Hello to all,
Today, 2 August, 99 years ago, the famous Italian tenor Enrico Caruso passed away in Naples at the age of 48.
„The death of Caruso ends one of the most brilliant careers in musical
history. All the world will remember him, not alone for his glorious voice and untiring
devotion to art, but for his human qualities, his generous heart and his heroic
struggle in his last long illness.“
(Amelity-Galli-Curci, 3 August 1921)
"It was not only upon his voice that Caruso's popularity depended; it was the man's great heart and kindly personality that endeared him even to people who had never heard him sing (Antonio Scotti, September 1921).
„To us who were part of the organization in which he was a star he was the embodiment of kindness, good humor and friendliness. I speak for the people who work behind the scenes, the electricians, the scene shifters, stage hands, property men, costumers and doormen. His personality was so genial. He was generosity itself. Even the least of the workmen felt his kindness. As he passed each one there was always a salutation – no commonness, no loss of personal dignity – just friendly good fellowship. With all his good humor Caruso had a natural dignity, and he was respected and loved by all those who saw him back stage. No one ever came to Caruso in want and went away empty-handed. Here he was a veritable Santa Claus to all the working force. On Christmas he remembered everyone, and his manner of remembering each was enhanced by the personal kindness accompanying all [illegible] I could tell you incidents without number of cases where Caruso stepped into a breach and helped needy persons […]. In all the years he was here I can remember no unpleasant incident for which he was responsible. Certainly his glorious voice could not have been intrusted to a man more worthy of caring for and using it. He was serious in his work and generous in his treatment of those working with him. It is needless to try to tell you the loss we feel and, as I said I speak for the workers behind the curtain.“ (Edward Siedle, technical director of the Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, 3 August 1921)