News and Observations from Wapella, Illinois: Home of the Wildcats.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If a Tenor Pinches you in the Monkey House, Avoid the Baritone


Been reading a biography of Enrico Caruso, the Neapolitan Tenor who took the world by storm in the early days of recording, becoming something like the first pop-star, though singing operatic and classic pieces.

As with most pop-stars, Caruso had his share of issues traveling through the US, including getting caught in the San Francisco Earthquake leading Caruso to flee "Clutching an autographed photo of President Teddy Roosevelt, Caruso made an effort to get out of the city, first by boat and then by train, and vowed never to return to San Francisco; he kept his word" (sort of like vowing never to open a Tavern in Wapella again).

One incident is most striking about Caruso:

On November 16, 1906 Caruso was charged with an indecent act committed in the monkey house of New York's Central Park Zoo. He was said to have pinched the bottom of a woman described as "pretty and plump", causing outrage amongst New York high society. Caruso claimed a monkey pinched the lady's bottom. Caruso was eventually found guilty before appeal, and fined 10 dollars.

Where do you come down on this issue? Was Caruso set up? Was a monkey to blame?

Here is the Original King of the High C's doing Il fior che avevi a me tu dato

6 comments:

Missouri 62 said...

Monkey see, Monkey do!

North Of Wapella said...

Always blame the monkey when you can.

Anonymous said...

I think Enrico pulled the trigger. Just a gut instinct.

HG

Anonymous said...

This website is getting lame.

JB Powers said...

Was it ever not lame?
JBP

Anonymous said...

Being married to a man of 100% Italian heritage, I can say that, for Caruso, it was $10 well spent. ;-)

SoCal

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