A Presentation by Cavaliere Ufficiale Aldo Mancusi
Founder of the Enrico Caruso Museum of America
Wednesday, June 1 at 7:00 PM
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear “The World’s Greatest Tenor”
Played on the cutting-edge technology of his day
Staten Island, New York, May 24, 2011 – Casa Belvedere, The Italian Cultural Foundation is pleased to announce that Cavaliere Ufficiale Aldo Mancusi, founder of the Enrico Caruso Museum of America will present “The Life & Times of Enrico Caruso” on Wednesday, June 1 at 7:00 PM.
Mr. Mancusi will share stories of Caruso’s life as well as some selections from the Museum’s extensive collection of rare Caruso video, memorabilia and original recordings. As an added treat, he will also bring a 1910 Victor wind-up phonograph that he lovingly restored so that participants can listen to Caruso the way he was intended to be heard – played on the cutting-edge technology of his day!
“I recently had the opportunity to visit the Enrico Caruso Museum of America;” said Louis Calvelli, Casa Belvedere’s Executive Director. “The museum is a gem and Mr. Mancusi’s passion and affection for Caruso and his talent really shines when he speaks about this unique individual. Listening to Caruso on the vintage phonographs was an absolute treat that should not be missed.”
Enrico Caruso was born in Naples, Italy on February 25, 1873, and sang to great acclaim at the major opera houses of Europe and North and South America. His operatic career, spanning the years 1895 to 1920, was cut short by a serious illness which ended his life on August 2, 1921. Almost a century later he continues to remain famous and he has been a great influence on all subsequent Italian tenors. While Caruso sang at most of the world’s foremost opera theaters- including La Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House in London and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, he is best known for being lead tenor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, where he appeared over 800 times in 18 consecutive seasons. In addition to the unique quality of his voice, Caruso’s global success is credited to his sharp business sense and to his enthusiastic use of the cutting-edge technology of his time-commercial sound recording. Caruso made more than 260 recordings in America for the Victor Talking Machine Company (later RCA Victor) over a 16-year period and earned millions of dollars in royalties from the sales of the resulting 78-rpm discs. Caruso also appeared in a number of newsreels, a short experimental film made by Thomas Edison and two commercial motion pictures.
Listening to some of those recordings as a young boy sparked a lifelong passion in Aldo Mancusi that led him to found the Enrico Caruso Museum of America. The seed for the museum was planted when Aldo’s father, Everisto, came to America from Italy in 1920. As Everisto’s love for Italian opera grew so did his collection of recordings; which eventually numbered 300 records. Aldo continued to build on his father’s collection and in 1990 he donated his private collection and space to create the Enrico Caruso Museum of America in Brooklyn, NY. He was awarded the title Cavaliere Ufficiale for his efforts by the Italian Government. The Enrico Caruso Museum of America is maintained by contributions and grants from the National Italian-American Foundation, the Sons of Italy and the Brooklyn Arts Council as well as memberships of museum patrons and the sale of books, records and opera mementos. The museum is registered with the New York State Education Department and offers programs for all ages especially for students and seniors.
Thousands of people have visited the museum to see rare books, records, letters, photos and mementos of Caruso and his family and to watch Caruso videos screened in the museum’s 20-seat mini theater with chairs and décor from the Old Metropolitan Opera House.
Casa Belvedere, The Italian Cultural Foundation is a unique 2.75 acre cultural campus and community center on Staten Island’s Grymes Hill with an amazing view of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the New York City Harbor. It is a registered 501(c) (3) not for profit organization that seeks to preserve, promote, and celebrate the rich heritage of Italy by encouraging an appreciation of the Italian language, arts, literature, history, fashion, cuisine, and commerce through various educational programs, exhibits and events.
For reservations, information and to subscribe to the mailing list to learn more about the upcoming events and programs, call 718-273-7660, e-mail email@example.com or click on to www.casa-belvedere.org.
The suggested donation for admission is $20. Wine, cheese, and light fare will be served. Space is limited and reservations are required.
Casa Belvedere, The Italian Cultural Foundation, Inc.
“A Unique Campus Showcasing the Rich Heritage & Culture of Italy”
79 Howard Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10301