This Day in UMS: Enrico Caruso
Editor’s Note: “This day in UMS History” is an occasional series of vignettes drawn from UMS’s historical archive. If you have a personal story or particular memory from attending the performance featured here, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.
October 19, 1918: Enrico Caruso with Nina Morgana, soprano, and Elias Breeskin, violinist
Photo: (Left) Enrico Caruso with his piano. (Right) UMS concert program.
Near the end of his 25-year career, Italian tenor Enrico Caruso was scheduled to sing selections from several operas during his performance alongside soprano Nina Morgana and violinist Elias Breeskin at Hill Auditorium in October of 1918. The performance was postponed until March of the following year due to the Spanish Flu pandemic.
The first singer to sell over a million copies of his recording, Caruso charmed audiences the world over as the first global media celebrity due to innovations in radio and television technology. His performance at UMS included an extensive repertoire of ten songs, all noted for their difficulty and beauty, including Souvenir de Moscow, Celste Aida, Una Furtiva Lagrima, Vesti La Giubba, and concluding with The Star Spangled Banner.