The childhood of the great Italian singer Enrico Caruso was far from cloudless: he was born on February 25, 1873 on the outskirts of Naples in a poor family. The boy managed to finish only elementary school. Parents dreamed that their son would become an engineer, but Enrico himself chose a career as a musician. As a child, he sang in a church choir, and from the age of 15 he began performing on the street in order to earn at least something.
The first singing teacher, to whom the boy's parents took the boy, said that the child was absolutely voiceless, and there was no point in wasting time studying with him.
From 1903 to 1921, Enrico Caruso was a soloist with the New York Metropolitan Opera. Instead of a few lire, which he was paid on the streets of Naples, he received $ 2, 500 per performance. For that time - a huge amount. It was not easy to get tickets for Caruso's concert, they were bought up by speculators, then resold with a huge "gain".
Interestingly, the multimillionaire Henry Smith, who wanted Enrico Caruso to perform at his mansion, offered him a whole dollar more than was paid at the Metropolitan Opera.
Enrico Caruso's incredible popularity throughout the world was also facilitated by the fact that he was one of the first opera stars to begin his performances on gramophone records, of which there were about 500 pieces with a total circulation of several million. Thanks to this, the inhabitants of almost the entire planet could hear the unique voice of the great Caruso.
In 1913, Caruso gave several concerts in Berlin. The organizers, having learned that he was a heavy smoker and was throwing cigarette butts everywhere, assigned him a firefighter who followed the singer around the theater with a bucket of water in his hand.
One day, Caruso went to the bank to withdraw money from the account. Suddenly, the singer found that he had not taken any identification document with him. The bank employees refused to pay the money, doubting that they really were Caruso himself. Then the singer decided to perform an aria from the opera "Tosca" for them, after which no one had any doubts. Caruso himself then joked that it was the most important performance in his life.
Enrico more than once helped his fellow countrymen, Italians, if they, having arrived in the United States, found themselves in a difficult financial situation. Once, during a concert, he was handed a bouquet, which also contained 50 dollars. It turned out that several years ago he helped the family of an Italian baker. And grateful fellow countrymen, having corrected their financial situation, repaid the debt.
Enrico Caruso died young, he was only 48 years old. Neglected purulent pleurisy became the cause of death. Even the operation performed by the best American doctors did not help. The legend of the world opera was buried in his native Naples, in the Pianto cemetery.
Admirers of Caruso's talent made a huge candle. It is lit only once a year. It is estimated that the giant candle will light for about 500 years. It is for this time that the wax from which it is made is enough.