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Enrico Caruso, His Career in Roles February 02 2021

An operatic life in pictures

Enrico Caruso (February 25, 1873 – August 2, 1921) was an Italian operatic 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.  

1 Caruso´s Career Starts

After his debut in 1895 in Naples, Italy, star tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) performed in 61 roles in 24 years.

This is a summary of his fantastic international career, shown in 49 photo-slides

 Enrico Caruso - His Career in Photos

 

2 - In the title role in Faust (Gounod)

After his debut in “L´Amico Francesco” in 1895, Faust was his first important role (Caserta, 1895)

 Enrico Caruso in Faust

 

3 - As Turiddu, in Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni)

He debuted on this role also in Caserta in 1895

Enrico Caruso in Cavalleria Rusticana

 

4 - As Turiddu, in Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni)


Enrico Caruso as Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana

 

5 - A playbill from 1901 announcing a performance of Rigoletto (Verdi) in Bologna

He had debuted on this role in Napoli, 1895. By 1901, his reputation as a tenor was alredy well established

playbill from 1901 announcing a performance of Rigoletto (Verdi) in Bologna

6 - Enrico Caruso as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto

 This was the role of his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1903.

 Enrico Caruso as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto

 

 

7 - Playbill announcing Caruso´s first performance ever at the Met Opera

Opening night season 1903-1904, Caruso singing with Marcella Sembrich and Antonio Scotti in the cast

 

 

 

 

 

 


8- As the Duke of Mantua, Met Opera (New York), season 1903-04

His debut role at the Met Opera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 - Caruso in Carmen

As Don Jose, a role he performed at numerous times at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Here shown is a photograph of him as Don Jose, by Hermann Mishkin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


10 - As Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti)

He debuted on this role in Cairo (Egypt) in 1895

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 - Playbill announcing Caruso in La Gioconda (Ponchielli), 1897

Performed in this opera for the first time in Cairo, Egypt, in 1895. Opera impresario Lombardi was also his teacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 - Caruso as Enzo in La Gioconda

A photo from later in his career.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

13 - As Arturo, in I Puritani (Bellini)

His debut in this opera was in 1896 in Salerno, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


14 - As Fernando, in La Favorita (Donizetti) at Teatro Mercadante, Napoli

Debuted in this role in Salerno, 1896

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


15 - With baritone Enrico Piganataro, probably in “A San Francisco” (Sebastiani)

Debuted on this opera in 1896 in Salerno – Rare photo, from around that time

 

 

 

 

 

 


Enrico Caruso as Don José in Carmen

16 - As Don Jose in Carmen, Met Opera

A role he performed at the Met Opera 32 times between 1906 and 1919.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 - As Rodolfo, in La Boheme (Puccini) in St. Petersburg, Russia, 1898 – His debut role there

Debuted in this role in Livorno, 1897

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 - Also as Rodolfo in La Boheme

A later photo, at the Metropolitan Opera (New York)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 - As Canio, in Pagliacci – His signature role

Caruso debuted on this role in Milan, 1897 – later, it became his most famous role

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 - In Pagliacci, at the Met Opera

Starting in 1903 and for the next 17 years, Caruso performed 116 times in this opera at the Metropolitan Opera in New York

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 - As Marcello, the paiter, in La Boheme (Leoncavallo)

Caruso performed on this role for the first time in Genova, 1898

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 - As Nadir, in Le Pecheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) by Bizet

Caruso´s debut in this role at Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova, 1898 – Shown with Giuseppe de Luca as Zurga

 

 

 

 

 

23 - Also as Nadir, in The Pearl Fishers (Bizet)

A later photo in this opera, at the Metropolitan Opera. Shown with Giuseppe de Luca, Frieda Hempel and Leon Rothier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 - As Faust in Mefistofele (by Arrigo Boito)

Caruso debuted in this role in Fiume, 1898

 

 

 

25 - Self caricature with Umberto Giordano (right), composer of “Fedora”

Caruso created the role of Loris Ipanov in the world premiere of “Fedora”, conducted by the composer at La Scala, Milan, 1898. 

 

 


26 - As Osaka, in Iris (by Pietro Mascagni)

Caruso debuted in this role in Buenos Aires, 1899

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27 - As Radames in Aida (Verdi) at the Metropolitan Opera, New York

Caruso debuted in this role in 1900 in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

 

 

 


28 - As Riccardo, in Un Ballo in Maschera (Verdi) at the Metropolitan Opera

Caruso debuted in this role in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1900

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29 - As Des Grieux, in Manon (Massenet)

Caruso debuted in this role in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1900

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

30 - As Cavaradossi, in Tosca (Puccini) at the Metropolitan Opera

Caruso debuted in this role in Treviso, Italy, in 1900

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 As Nemorino in L´Elisir d´Amore, with Frieda Hempel

Caruso debuted in this role in 1901 in Milan, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


32 - Self caricature as Federico Loewe in Germania (by Alberto Franchetti)

Caruso created this role in the world premiere of this opera at La Scala, Milan, in 1902

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

33 - As Raoul in Les Huguenots (Meyerbeer)

Caruso debuted in this role at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, in 1905

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


34 - As Lionel in Martha (by Friedrich von Flotow) at the Metropolitan Opera

Caruso debuted in this role in 1906 at the Metropolitan Opera, New York

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

35 - Self caricature as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (Puccini)

Caruso´s first performance in this role at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, in 1906

 

 

 

 

 


36 - As Riccardo, in Un Ballo in Maschera (Verdi) at the Metropolitan Opera

Caruso debuted in this role in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1900

 

 

 

 

 

 

  


37 - As Manrico in Il Trovatore (Verdi)

Caruso´s debut in this role was at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, 1908

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


38 - As Renaud, in Armide (by Christoph W. Gluck) – Metropolitan Opera, New York

Caruso´s debut in this tole was at the Met in 1910

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

39 - As Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West (Puccini)

Caruso created this role in the world premiere of the opera at the Met Opera in 1910 – With the composer´s presence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40 - In La Fanciulla del West, with Emmy Destinn as Minnie

Photo from the world premiere production at the Met Opera, 1910

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


41 - In the title role in Julien (by Gustave Charpentier) at the Metropolitan Opera, New York

Shown with Geraldine Farrar as Louise. Opera had been premiered in Paris in 1913, Caruso performed as Julien for the first time in 1914 at the Met.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


43 - As Jean of Leyden in Le Prophete, Metropolitan Opera Caruso debuted in this role in this Met Opera production in 1918. Shown with Claudia Muzio as Berthe.

 

 

 

44 - As Don Alvaro in La Forza del Destino (Verdi) at the Metropolitan Opera

Caruso debuted in this role in 1918 at the Met. Shown here with Giuseppe de Luca as Don Carlo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

45 - Also as Don Alvaro in La Forza del Destino

Shown with Jose Mardones as Padre Guardiano and Rosa Ponselle in her debut role as Leonora

Enrico Caruso - Jose Mardones - Rosa Ponselle in La Forza del Destino

 

 

46 - As Eleazar in La Juive (by Fromental Halevy)

This was the last new role for him, which he performed for the first time at the Met Opera in 1919. Here he is shown with Rosa Ponselle as Rachel, his daughter.

 

 

 

 

 

 


47 - As Tommasso Longo, a sculptor, in the silent film “My Cousin” (1918)

Yet another role Caruso performed was in his only silent film, both as Tommaso Longo – a struggling sculptor – and Met Opera leading tenor Cesare Caroli.

 

 

 

 

We hope you enjoyed this exhibit with rare photographs of one of the greatest tenors in all operatic history.  

Curated and written by Nestor Masckauchan.

 

SEE ALSO:

- ENRICO CARUSO AUTOGRAPHS

- BELGIAN OPERA SINGERS

- OPERATIC GLORIES OF THE OPERA-COMIQUE

 

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