Enrico Caruso was a tenor with a golden voice, idolized by millions in America and abroad who had an artistic career as well know as that of any famous statesman or military leader.
Caruso made his debut in "L'Amico Francesco" at the Nuovo Theater, Naples, in 1894. He then toured Italy and Sicily and was engaged for several seasons at La Scala, Milan.
In May 1902, Caruso made his debut in "Rigoletto" at Covent Garden, where he subsequently appeared from 1904 to 1907.
When Caruso came to the Metropolitan Opera on Nov. 23, 1903, in "Rigoletto," the critics did not go into ecstasies over him.
The list of Italian and French operas in which the noted tenor's name figures since he first sang in New York reveals an amazing versatility. In 18 years he sang more than 800 times. He was unsparing, if not reckless, of his vocal powers. No grand opera tenor in America ever reigned so long in popular favor.
At the height of his Met career, Caruso was receiving as average of $2,000 for each performance. On special occasions, such as his 1920 season in Havana, he was paid $10,000 a night.
His last public appearance was in Halevy's "La Juive" at the Metropolitan on Dec. 21, 1920.