Archive for the Boardwalk Empire Category

Caruso, the one , the only Canio

Posted in 20th century, Boardwalk Empire, Commedia dell'arte, Enrico Caruso, Opera, Pagliacci/Canio on September 26, 2010 by babylonbaroque

In anticipation of this evening’s episode of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”, I am prompted to post about dear Enrico Caruso.

In one of many beautiful scenes, we find an Italian mobster in a pool of blood as Caruso crackles on the gramophone. Prior, we had the chance to see one of my favorite images of Caruso, framed as if he were a saint. The mobster so loved Caruso;it was fitting he met his end in the thrall of his voice.

Image similar to what was featured on “Boardwalk Empire”

Caruso as Canio, ca. 1905

Such attention to detail drew me in, but the NY Times , thought otherwise. Alessandra Stanley felt that “sometimes exactitude verges on pedanticism”. I’ve been known to be pedantic.

I’m pleased with the details, I relish the little flourishes. As any good Italian boy from New Jersey knows, Caruso was God. My Italian grandfather, a man with  very little cultural sophistication, adored Caruso. I present this little collection in his honor.

as Canio, ca. 1904

The following clip has wonderful images of Caruso in action.

Caruso’s “Una Furtiva Lagrima”,(Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’amore”, a furtive tear) ca. 1904, always a crowd pleaser. It has been digitally remastered , something my Grandpop Greco would have enjoyed;the purists, probably not so much.

As any  Italian American knows, “Ave Maria”, is a perfect blend of art and devotion; this rendition ca. 1913-15.

Enjoy tonight’s episode.