To bring a close to the month of August, Dead Tenors' Society is honoring the memory of the great Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921). A selection of "Desert Island Discs" will be showcased, giving an example of the Caruso recordings that I cannot live without. You may have your own favorites...here is one of mine.
The last role that Caruso ever studied and the last he ever sang was that of Eléazar in Halévy's opera La Juive. It was considered one of the truly great triumphs of his career and he was justifiably proud of the recognition he received from critics and the public. On September 14th, 1920, Caruso stepped into the Victor studios in Camden, New Jersey to commit Eléazar's final act aria to disc. Sadly, this performance of "Rachel, quand du Seigneur" is the only recording we have by which form any impression of Caruso in his final role. Just three months after this recording was made, the great tenor made his last appearance before the public. Fortunately, Caruso left this magnificent recording behind for future generations to marvel at. It is truly a performance for the ages.