) was one of the most famous tenors in the history of opera
. Born Naples
, Caruso began his career in that city in 1894
. His first big success came a year later in Milan
, where he also made his first 20 recordings. In 1903
he came to New York City
to sing with the New York Metropolitan Opera
, and the same year began making phonograph recordings for the Victor Talking-Machine Company
; his star relationships with both the Metropolitan and Victor would last to 1920
Caruso's repertoire included about sixty operas, mostly in Italian, though he also sang in French and English (with a heavy Italian accent). He had a repertory of some 500 songs, ranging from classical to traditional Italian folk songs to popular songs of the day. He was one of the first star vocalists to make numerous recordings. Caruso and the disc phonograph did much to promote each other in the first 2 decades of the 20th century. Caruso's popular recordings and his extraordinary voice made him one of the best known stars of his time.
His life was the subject of a highly fictionalized Hollywood motion picture, The Great Caruso, in 1951.