Caruso Opera

While opera had centuries of ancestry, it was given new birth in the late 1800s with the arrival of the “Italian School” (Verdi, Puccini, Rossini), and with it, an Italian tenor who would change the face and voice of opera forever. His name was Enrico Caruso. Born in 1873, in Naples Italy, he would go on.

Alternative Title: Errico Caruso Enrico Caruso, original name Errico Caruso, (born February 25, 1873, Naples, Italy—died August 2, 1921, Naples), the most admired Italian operatic tenor of the early 20th century and one of the first musicians to document his voice on recordings. Caruso was born into a poor family. This item: Enrico Caruso in Opera 2 by VARIOUS ARTISTS Audio CD $14.99. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by FREE Shipping on orders over $25.00. Prima Voce: Caruso by MASSENET / PUCCINI / DONIZETTI Audio CD $8.09. Aaron Caruso has been performing on stage since the age of 6, and attended the world renowned 'Interlochen Arts Academy' for high school. He earned his bachelor degree in Vocal Performance with an Italian Minor from the University of Michigan. He speaks four languages fluently, and can sing in seven including Russian, Latin. Operatic tenor Enrico Caruso was born on this day in 1873 in Naples. Believed by many opera experts to be the greatest tenor of all time, Caruso had a brilliant 25-year singing career, appearing at many of the major opera houses in Europe and America. He made more than 200 recordings of his beautiful voice, some made as early as 1902.

'Caruso' is a song written by Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla in 1986. It is dedicated to Enrico Caruso, an Italian tenor. Following Lucio Dalla's death, the song entered the Italian Singles Chart, peaking at number two for two consecutive weeks.[1] The single was also certified platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry.[2]

Meaning of the song[edit]

Caruso Opera

The song simply tells about the pain and longings of a man who is about to die while he is looking into the eyes of a girl who was very dear to him. The lyrics contain various subtle references to people and places in Caruso's life.

Lucio Dalla told the origin and the meaning of the song in an interview to one of the main Italian newspapers, the Corriere della Sera. He stopped by the coastal town of Sorrento and stayed in the Excelsior Vittoria Hotel, coincidentally in the very same room where many years earlier the tenorEnrico Caruso spent some time shortly before dying. Dalla was inspired to write the song after the owners told him about the last days of Caruso and in particular the latter's passion for one of his young female students.[3]

Caruso was an acclaimed Italian operatic singer who was one of the greatest and most sought-after singers during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Unfortunately he lived a very difficult and rather unhappy life, having had many challenges and problems with Italian opera houses, but gained more fame and success in the United States.

Caruso was born to a poor family in Naples. He was often involved with women, and had several love affairs with prominent married women in the performing arts, which often ended badly. His longest and most passionate love affair was with the married Ada Giachetti, with whom he had two sons. It ended when she left him for their chauffeur. A few years before he died, he met and wed a woman 20 years his junior, Dorothy Park Benjamin, whom Lucio Dalla describes in this song 'Caruso'. With her he had a daughter named Gloria.

Guardò negli occhi la ragazza, quegli occhi verdi come il mare
He looked into the eyes of the girl, those eyes as green as the sea
Poi all'improvviso uscì una lacrima e lui credette di affogare
But then, a tear fell, and he thought he was drowning

Sorrento is referred to as 'Surriento', which is the name in the Neapolitan language. It refers to Caruso's frequent visits to the seaside town and its Excelsior Vittoria Hotel.

Te voglio bene assaje
I love you very much
ma tanto tanto bene sai
very, very much, you know
è una catena ormai
It is a chain by now
che scioglie il sangue dint'e vene sai...
that melts the blood inside of our veins, you know...

The music and words of the above refrain, written in a mixture of standard Italian and Neapolitan, are based on a Neapolitan song, titled 'Dicitencello vuje', published in 1930 by Rodolfo Falvo (music) and Enzo Fusco (text) written according to the best tradition of Neapolitan 'romances' with a strong operatic style.

Because of this there are some interesting linguistic differences. The cognate phrase, 'ti voglio bene', literally meaning 'I wish you well', is generally not used in a romantic context in standard Italian. However, in Neapolitan, 'Te voglio bene assaje, ma tantu tanto bene saje' means, 'I love you very much. Very, very much, you know.' In standard Italian, 'Ti amo' is reserved for romantic love, but 'te amo' in Neapolitan bears the opposite connotation.

Lucio Dalla's official video of the song[4] was filmed in the 'Caruso Suite' at the Excelsior Vittoria Hotel where Caruso spent most of the final weeks of his life,[5] though Caruso died at the Vesuvio Hotel in Naples.

In 2015, on the occasion of the third anniversary of Dalla's passing, GoldenGate Edizioni published the biographical novel by Raffaele Lauro,[6] 'Caruso The Song – Lucio Dalla and Sorrento',[7] which through unpublished testimonies reconstructs the almost fifty-year-long bond (from 1964 to 2012) of the great artist with Sorrento ('Sorrento is the true corner of my soul'), and the authentic inspiration for his masterpiece, 'Caruso'. The documentary film by the same author, 'Lucio Dalla and Sorrento – Places of the Soul',[8] was presented in the national première on 7 August 2015 at the Social World Film Festival 2015 in Vico Equense.


Cover versions[edit]

  • Metallica, Bologna 02-14-2018 tribute.
  • Anna Oxa covered the song on her album Fantastica (1988).
  • Mireille Mathieu covered the song in French in her album Embrujo (1989).
  • Greek singer Maria Farantouri, featuring music composed by Leo Brouwer, covered the song in 1990, on her album Maria Farantouri – 17 Songs.
  • El Cigala covered the song in his album Dos Lagrimas singing the chorus in Italian while translating the rest of the song to Spanish.
  • Estela Raval covered the Spanish version of the song in her album UNA recorded in Chile in 1990.
  • Andrea Bocelli covered the song on his debut album Il mare calmo della sera (1994) and later in his best-selling album Romanza.
  • Italian singer Milva, featuring music composed by James Last, covered the song in 1994, on her album Milva & James Last: Dein Ist Mein Ganzes Herz, recorded in collaboration with James Last. A live rendition of the song performed in Osaka, Japan in 1996 was included on her limited edition album Live and More (Milva Collectors Club), issued in 1998.
  • Luciano Pavarotti recorded the song in 1986. ('The best version so far' is included in the Tutto Pavarotti double album). He sang it in many of his concerts, most notably in his 1993 Pavarotti and Friends album with Lucio Dalla, the composer, and in The Three Tenors, which is included in the Paris 1998 album.
  • Lara Fabian, a multi-national singer who sings in Quebec, Canada, as well as in Belgium and the US, included this song on her En Toute Intimité album (2003). She also gave a virtuoso performance of it as part of her 2003 Tour.
  • Julio Iglesias covered this song in his album Crazy (1994).
  • Russian singer Vitas covered this song in 2002 (later released as a digital download on the Vitas' official site – as well as the Radio Vitas Online – in 2011).[9]
  • Josh Groban covered this song in his second studio album Closer (2003).
  • A slowed down version was featured on Il Divo's Siempre album released in November 2006, which includes several key changes and an arrangement of the song for four voices.
  • Sergio Franchi covered the song in 1989 on his last album, Encore.
  • Fatih Erkoç covered the song Turkish 'Ağlama' with the name in 1996 on his album, Kardelen.
  • Florent Pagny covered the song in 1996. Released as a single, his version peaked at No. 2 in France and No. 3 in Belgium (Wallonia).
  • It was covered by Antonio Forcione with Sabina Scubbia on vocals in his 1997 album Meet Me in London.
  • Italian pop music icon Mina covered this song as part of the Ti conosco mascherina double LP, originally released in 1990.
  • Zizi Possi recorded the song on the album Per Amore (1997).
  • Mercedes Sosa covered the song on her album Sino (1993).
  • Russell Watson covered the song on his album The Voice (2000).
  • Mauro Calderón covered the song in 2008 on his album, Imagine translated and recorded a version of the song in Spanish. You can see a video of this song recorded in the 'Casa de los Azulejos' an historic place in Mexico City [1]
  • Ricardo Montaner covered the song on his album Ricardo Montaner Gold of 2001.
  • Catherine Jenkins in Second Nature (2004).
  • In 2005 the song was covered by British tenor Jon Christos on his debut album Northern Light.
  • In 2006, Mario Frangoulis included this song on his CD/DVD Music of the Night (Sony Classical) of his live performance at the Herod Atticus Theatre in Athens, Greece, 2005.
  • The Chilean singer Bárbara Muñoz, recorded a pop version of the song in her album Amanecer in 2006. This song was performed before when she participated in the TV program Rojo Fama Contrafama.
  • Trumpeter Chris Botti covered the song from 2007 album Italia.[10][11]
  • In 2007 the song was covered by Paul Potts on his first album One chance.
  • In 2008, Ainhoa Arteta and Miguel Nandez in concert[12]
  • In 2009, Dominic Mancuso covered this song on his Juno-award-winning album Comfortably Mine.
  • In 2009, Hakan Aysev Turkish tenor in concert[13]
  • Mark Masri recorded this song on his 2010 album, La Voce.
  • Mark Vincent recorded a version of the song for his 2010 album The Great Tenor Songbook.
  • Alfie Boe covered the song on his 2011 album, You'll Never Walk Alone – The Collection.
  • Vittorio Grigolo covered the song on his 2011 album, Arrivederci.
  • Nino Porzio covered this song in his album Caruso of 2011.
  • Tina Arena and Florent Pagny in concert of 2011[14]
  • Paula Seling in 2012[15]
  • Stéphan Rizon in album The voice of 2012.
  • Jonathan and Charlotte in an album of 2012
  • Japanese musical actress Seiko Niizuma covered the song in Japanese as the title 'Pieta ~Caruso~' on her live album 'LIVE MOMENTS' on 2013.
  • The German singer Helene Fischer covered the song on her 2014 album and tour Farbenspiel Live – Die Tournee
  • Italian singer Gianna Nannini on her album Hitalia
  • In 2015, Italian operatic pop trio Il Volo performed a cover on their album Grande Amore [International Edition].
  • In 2015, Croat Tony Cetinski and Mia Negovetić in concert[16]
  • In 2016, Finnish opera singer Waltteri Torikka translated and recorded a version of the song in Finnish on his 2nd studio album 'Rakkaus'. Torikka sung the chorus in Italian and the song is titled 'Italian yössä (Caruso)' on the album.
  • In 2016, German opera singer Jonas Kaufmann on his album Dolce Vita
  • In 2017, Celine Dion in concert with Florent Pagny[17]
  • In 2017, Jackie Evancho covered the song in her album Two Hearts released 31 March.
  • In 2018, German heavy metal singer Doro recorded a version of the song for her album Forever Warriors, Forever United.
  • In 2020, Stjepan Hauser, cellist, recorded an arrangement with London Symphony Orchestra
  • In 2020, Luka Sulic, cellist featuring Evgeny Genchev, pianist, performed an arrangement at Fusine Lakes in Tarvisio (Italy) for No Borders Music Festival.
  • In 2020, Jonathan Antoine, in his album Going the Distance.
  • In 2020, Amira Willighagen, in her streaming concert This is My Dream.


Chart (1990–2015)Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[18]43
France (SNEP)[19]38
Germany (Official German Charts)[20]61
Italy (FIMI)[21]2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[22]68
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[23]30
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24]16


  1. ^'Italian Charts – Lucio Dalla – Caruso (song)'. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 6 May 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  2. ^'Italian single certifications' (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Select 'Tutti gli anni' in the 'Anno' drop-down menu. Select 'Singoli' under 'Sezione'.
  3. ^'Dalla: 'Scrissi la canzone su Caruso nell' albergo dove morì''. Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  4. ^'YouTube Lucia Dalla Caruso official video'.
  5. ^'Excelsior Vittoria Hotel/Caruso Suite Images'.
  6. ^Mauro Siniscalchi. 'Raffaele Lauro'. Archived from the original on 24 June 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  7. ^'Caruso The Song Caruso The Song – Lucio Dalla e Sorrento'. Archived from the original on 23 February 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  8. ^Mauro Siniscalchi. 'Lucio Dalla e Sorrento – I luoghi dell'anima'. Archived from the original on 13 September 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  9. ^'Archived copy'. Archived from the original on 15 December 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^'Italia overview'. AllMusic.
  11. ^'Chris Botti'. Archived from the original on 5 January 2011.
  12. ^video
  13. ^video
  14. ^video
  15. ^video
  16. ^video
  17. ^video
  18. ^' – Lucio Dalla – Caruso' (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  19. ^' – Lucio Dalla – Caruso' (in French). Les classement single.
  20. ^' – Lucio Dalla – Caruso' (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  21. ^' – Lucio Dalla – Caruso'. Top Digital Download.
  22. ^' – Lucio Dalla – Caruso' (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  23. ^' – Lucio Dalla – Caruso'Canciones Top 50.
  24. ^' – Lucio Dalla – Caruso'. Swiss Singles Chart.

External links[edit]

  • UK Soul Singer Steve Menzies soulful version of Caruso.
Retrieved from ''
Enrico Caruso and the 1906 Earthquake
Enrico Caruso (1873 - 1921) is considered by many music lovers to be the greatest operatic tenor of all time. He was on tour in San Francisco during the Great Earthquake, and appeared in Carmen at the Mission Opera House a few hours before the disaster.

Arnold Genthe , the famed photographer, saw Caruso after the world-famous tenor had left the Palace Hotel and walked to the St. Francis Hotel at Union Square.

This somewhat disjointed narrative of Caruso’s experiences in San Francisco appeared in The Sketch, published in London, with drawings by Caruso to illustrate his experiences. The article was reprinted in the July 1906 edition of The Theatre magazine.

You ask me to say what I saw and what I did during the terrible days which witnessed the destruction of San Francisco? Well, there have been many accounts of my so-called adventures published in the American papers, and most of them have not been quite correct. Some of the papers said that I was terribly frightened, that I went half crazy with fear, that I dragged my valise out of the hotel into the square and sat upon it and wept; but all this is untrue. I was frightened, as many others were, but I did not lose my head. I was stopping at the [Palace] Hotel, where many of my fellow-artists were staying, and very comfortable it was. I had a room on the fifth floor, and on Tuesday evening, the night before the great catastrophe, I went to bed feeling very contented. I had sung in “Carmen” that night, and the opera had one with fine eclat. We were all pleased, and, as I said before, I went to bed that night feeling happy and contented.

But what an awakening! You must know that I am not a very heavy sleeper—I always wake early, and when I feel restless I get up and go for a walk. So on the Wednesday morning early I wake up about 5 o’clock, feeling my bed rocking as though I am in a ship on the ocean, and for a moment I think I am dreaming that I am crossing the water on my way to my beautiful country. And so I take no notice for the moment, and then, as the rocking continues, I get up and go to the window, raise the shade and look out. And what I see makes me tremble with fear. I see the buildings toppling over, big pieces of masonry falling, and from the street below I hear the cries and screams of men and women and children.

Caruso Opera Singer Jonathan

I remain speechless, thinking I am in some dreadful nightmare, and for something like forty seconds I stand there, while the buildings fall and my room still rocks like a boat on the sea. And during that forty seconds I think of forty thousand different things. All that I have ever done in my life passes before me, and I remember trivial things and important things. I think of my first appearance in grand opera, and I feel nervous as to my reception, and again I think I am going through last night’s “Carmen.”

And then I gather my faculties together and call for my valet. He comes rushing in quite cool, and, without any tremor in his voice, says: “It is nothing.” But all the same he advises me to dress quickly and go into the open, lest the hotel fall and crush us to powder. By this time the plaster on the ceiling has fallen in a great shower, covering the bed and the carpet and the furniture, and I, to, begin to think it is time to “get busy.” My valet gives me some clothes; I know not what the garments are but I get into a pair of trousers and into a coat and draw some socks on and my shoes, and every now and again the room trembles, so that I jump and feel very nervous. I do not deny that I feel nervous, for I still think the building will fall to the ground and crush us. And all the time we hear the sound of crashing masonry and the cries of frightened people.

Then we run down the stairs and into the street, and my valet, brave fellow that he is, goes back and bundles all my things into trunks and drags them down six flights of stairs and out into the open one by one. While he is gone for another and another, I watch those that have already arrived, and presently someone comes and tries to take my trunks saying they are his. I say, “no, they are mine”; but he does not go away. Then a soldier comes up to me; I tell him that this man wants to take my trunks, and that I am Caruso, the artist who sang in “Carmen” the night before. He remembers me and makes the man who takes an interest in my baggage “skiddoo” as Americans say.

Then I make my way to Union Square, where I see some of my friends, and one of them tells me he has lost everything except his voice, but he is thankful that he has still got that. And they tell me to come to a house that is still standing; but I say houses are not safe, nothing is safe but the open square, and I prefer to remain in a place where there is no fear of being buried by falling buildings. So I lie down in the square for a little rest, while my valet goes and looks after the luggage, and soon I begin to see the flames and all the city seems to be on fire. All the day I wander about, and I tell my valet we must try and get away, but the soldiers will not let us pass. We can find no vehicle to find our luggage, and this night we are forced to sleep on the hard ground in the open. My limbs ache yet from so rough a bed.

Then my valet succeeds in getting a man with a cart, who says he will take us to the Oakland Ferry for a certain sum, and we agree to his terms. We pile the luggage into the cart and climb in after it, and the man whips up his horse and we start.

We pass terrible scenes on the way: buildings in ruins, and everywhere there seems to be smoke and dust. The driver seems in no hurry, which makes me impatient at times, for I am longing to return to New York, where I know I shall find a ship to take me to my beautiful Italy and my wife and my little boys.

When we arrive at Oakland we find a train there which is just about to start, and the officials are very polite, take charge of my luggage, and tell me go get on board, which I am very glad to do. The trip to New York seems very long and tedious, and I sleep very little, for I can still feel the terrible rocking which made me sick. Even now I can only sleep an hour at a time, for the experience was a terrible one.

The Sketch, London
reprinted in The Theatre
Vol. VI., No. 65, July 1, 1906.

Caruso The Song

Hear Caruso sing Il fior che avevi a me tu dato from Act II of Carmen. as he may have performed it on April 17, 1906. Recorded for Victor Red Seal records in 1909.
Enrico Caruso
Enrico Caruso is the son of a mechanic, resident in Naples. His age is thirty-three, and for many years he adopted his father's calling, earning commendation for industry and application. His vocal powers and possibilities were divined by one Vergine, Italian singing master, who at once took in hand their development, until a successful debut was recorded in 'Traviata,' year 1896, place Naples. Two years later Caruso appeared in 'La Scala' at Milan and then in succession at other important cities in Italy, in South America, Russia, and finally at Convent Garden, London.

In the fall of 1903 he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York. Caruso is the most charming and lovable of characters, never shirking rehearsal duties, and by this very adaptability and amiableness. When he is not singing, his chief delight lies in sketching caricatures of himself and his acquaintances.

Caruso Opera Recordings

Opera Biographic sketch from the Mission Opera House program for the appearance of the Conreid Opera Company, San Francisco, April 1906.