Yes, I heard/read about this project the other day, and this is absolutely fascinating!
However, I was very surprised to hear the lady say, "we discovered the film existed" and comment on top of that, that not many, not even Caruso fans, would have been
aware of its existence. The film has been even on you-tube (poor quality) for about a decade:
Speaking of Caruso as a movie actor, I wonder if his second silent film, "The Splendid Romance," (Paramount, 1919), is really lost for posterity forever:
"According to the 19 April 1918 Variety,
a representative of opera star Enrico Caruso
was soliciting offers from motion picture companies for the singer’s U.S. screen debut. His minimum salary requirement was $75,000 per film.
Nearly five months later, the 14 September 1918 Moving Picture World
announced that Caruso had begun his second production for Artcraft Pictures, provisionally titled Prince Cosimo.
Principal photography took place the Famous Players-Lasky Studio on Fifty-sixth Street in New York City. Casting had reportedly not yet been completed. An article in the 21 September 1918 Moving Picture World
stated that filming was in its third week and ahead of schedule. As noted in the 12 October 1918 Motion Picture News,
the company devoted two days to exterior shots at the Flagler Estate in Greenwich, CT. Actress Charlotte Ives appeared in a “vampire role.”
The close of production on 24 September 1918 was announced in the next day’s edition of Wid’s Daily.
After taking final location shots during the previous weekend in Larchmont, NY, Caruso held a “farewell dinner” for the cast, many of whom had appeared with him in his previous Artcraft release, My Cousin
(1918, see entry). The 23 November 1918 Motion Picture News
later described the event as a luncheon for the entire company. An item in the 18 October 1918 [San Antonio, TX] Light
stated that Caruso thanked members of the crew with gifts, including a gold cigarette case for director Edward Jose, a platinum scarf pin for cameraman Hal Young, and a gold match holder for assistant director William J. Scully
. Other crew members were given cash bonuses.
A pre-release review in the March 1919 Photo-Play Journal
referred to the picture by its official title, The Splendid Romance.
Caruso’s character was identified as “Prince Waldo,” Ormi Hawley
’s character as Mary Alvin, and Charlotte Ives’s character as “Bettina.” While the name of Caruso’s character is incorrect, the accuracy of the latter two character names could not be verified. The film was released on 1 June 1919, according to the 6 September 1919 Motion Picture News
. A Boston Massachusetts opening followed one week later at the Globe Theatre. Paramount studio records, among other sources, claim that the picture was never released in the U.S.
The National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) included this film on its list of Lost U.S. Silent Feature Films as of February 2021 (From: https://catalog.afi.com/