Caruso studied with Vergine and under conductor Vincenzo Lombardi. His first success came with his performance of La Gioconda in 1897. After a controversial reception of a performance at the Teatro S Carlo in Naples, Caruso vowed to never sing in Naples again, and he never did. He sang at Covent Garden in London and also at theatres throughout Europe, but he performed most often at the Metropolitan Opera. Incomplete and irregular training caused Caruso to have technical problems early in his career. He was insecure in his upper range, often resorting to falsetto or transposition. He did not overcome this problem until 1902. Also, his voice had a dark tone that caused some ambiguities. This dark character worked in his favor as well, the appeal of his voice stemming from the combination of his full baritone-like characteristics and the smooth, brilliant tenor qualities. He was a master of interpretation and could handle the most difficult and diverse repertoire. He had a rare gift for portamento and legato and had an excellent command of phrasing. Caruso was greatly loved and admired, and his death from abcesses on his lungs due to a bout of pleurisy was sincerely mourned by the public. ~ Lynn VoughtPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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