Thursday, March 5, 2020

John Doyle writes

Enrico’s Not An Asshole

My heroes
bashed their drum-kits,
bashed their wives, left their babies crying,
carried v.d. pandemics in their wake.
I chose my heroes badly.
I should have learned 
to plant trees like Grandpa,
spent an hour each day 
with The Great Caruso afterwards, 
sitting on my windowsill
looking at the forest,
one knee raised;
for the most part Enrico seems on the level;
with my track record for choosing assholes as heroes
I will tread with caution.
Though I can't see Enrico smashing a gramophone off the wall
while his wife screams and children cower.
Enrico's not an asshole, no
Image result for enrico caruso

1 comment:

  1. Enrico Caruso was an Italian operatic tenor. One of the 1st major singing talents to be commercially recorded, he did some 260 commercially released recordings from 1902 to 1920 and appeared in 74 operatic roles; the 1st role he created was that of Loris (in Umberto Giordano's "Fedora") in 1898, 3 years after his professional debut at 22; Giacomo Puccini created the role of Dick Johnson in "La fanciulla del West" with Caruso's voice in mind, a role which Caruso premiered in 1910. He never performed in an opera chorus or in a supporting role. His 1st recordings, a 10-disc set made by the Gramophone Company, established him as an international star. In 1910 his performance at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York was the 1st public radio broadcast in the US. In 1918 he "sang" in Edward Jose's silent film "My Cousin" On 16 September 1920 he concluded 3 days of recording, but during a performance of Camille Saint-Saens' "Samson et Dalila" he was hit by a falling pillar on 3 December; the next day he suffered a chill and developed a cough and a pain in his side. On 11 December he suffered a throat hemorrhage while singing in Gaetano Donizetti's "L'elisir d'amore." He only did 3 more performances at the Met; his final appearance, his 863rd since 1903, was as Eléazar in Fromental Halévy's "La Juive," on 24 December. Through the winter and spring of 1921 he underwent 7 surgical procedures and returned to Italia to recuperate. He died of peritonitis at the Vesuvio hotel in Napoli on 2 August, at 48. In 1951 Mario Lanza starred in "The Great Caruso," directed by Richard Thorpe; Sonya Levien and William Ludwig wrote the highly fictionalized screenplay, and the movie became MGM's most commercially successful film of the year and was nominated for 3 Academy awards. Lanza also made an album of 8 popular arias to promote the film, which became the 1st operatic LP to sell a million copies.


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