On an ivory album leaf ca. 209 x 261 mm.
The second caricature is similar in style to the caricature of the distinguished Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938) reproduced in Sisca, ed.: Caruso's Caricatures (Dover, 1977), no. 25.
Minor wear; edges slightly browned; light creasing.
Caruso left America in the spring of 1907 on the "Deutschland," singing Rodolfo in La Bohème and Pinkerton in Butterfly at Covent Garden, and his "usual gallery of roles, including Alfredo, Radames, Don José, Cavaradossi, Riccardo in Un Ballo in maschera and Canio. ... On October 2nd he ... began his usual 'German' tour at the Budapest Kiralyi Operaház ... thereafter he visited Hamburg, Berlin and Frankfurt." Scott: The Great Caruso, pp. 100-102. He returned to America that autumn.
"The winning quality of the sound, the tender mezza voce (particularly in the early years), and his phrasing, based on a rare mastery of legato and portamento, enabled Caruso to sing the French and Italian lyric repertory as well as lighter operas. In addition, his noble, incisive declamation, his broad, generous phrasing, and his vigor in dramatic outbursts made him a notable interpreter of Verdi as well as of French grand opéra. In this repertory his performances were characterized by the irresistible erotic appeal of his timbre allied to a temperament as warm and vehement as his voice. His numerous recordings, now faithfully remastered on CD, not only made him universally famous, they also did much to encourage the acceptance of recording as a medium for opera." Rodolfo Celletti and Alan Blyth in Grove Music Online
Caruso was also greatly admired for his caricatures, many of which were executed for La Follia, the newspaper of the Italian community in New York, from 1903 to his death in 1921. "During his memorable seasons at the Metropolitan, Caruso personally delivered his drawings to his 'carissimo Marziale." When he went on tour, he never forgot to send his sketches by special delivery to 'his favorite newspaper.' After official receptions, grand banquets with sovereigns, statesmen, generals, admirals, leaders and personalities of the international world, the genial caricaturist caught the most characteristic features of his subjects and mailed the sketches at once to La Follia." Marziale Sisca: Caruso's Caricatures, preface.
Price: $1,200.00 other currencies