Enrico Caruso – His Songs: Concert To Be Presented by Nichols House Museum

By Suzanne Besser

The works of Enrico Caruso, considered by many to be the greatest Italian opera tenor of the early 20th century, will be sung by English tenor Mark Milhofer on what would have been Caruso’s 151st birthday on Sunday, Feb. 25.

Mark Milhofer, the English tenor who will be performing the works of Enrico Caruso on Sunday, Feb. 25, at a private Beacon Hill home for a concert sponsored by the
Nichols House Museum.

Enrico Caruso (1873 –1921) sang to great acclaim at the major opera houses of Europe and the Americas, appearing in a wide variety of roles that ranged from the lyric to the dramatic. Recognized as one of the first major singing talents to be commercially recorded, Caruso made 247 recordings from 1902 to 1920, which led to his reputation as an internationally popular entertainment star. Some of these recordings also feature Louise Homer, a popular performer at the Met and a Nichols family relation who even performed in the parlor at 55 Mount Vernon St. Born in Naples, Caruso toured widely both with the Metropolitan Opera touring company and on his own, giving hundreds of performances in Europe and the U.S. He had a repertoire of more than 500 songs, ranging from classical compositions to traditional Italian melodies and popular tunes of the day. Mark Milhofer has spent a quarter of a century singing in professional opera productions around the world. He studied choral singing at Magdalen College, Oxford, and specialized at the Guildhall School of Music in London, before winning one of the few places at the Italian Opera Studio in Milan. He began his career in Italy, working with Giorgio Strehler who chose him to open his brand-new theater in Milan. For many years he played in a duo with pianist Sebastiano Brusco and has often collaborated with playwright and music historian Sandro Cappelletto. He has also performed on stage with well-known actors. The concert will be Milhofer’s first performance in New England, following his Carnegie Hall debut on Feb. 21. Milhofer will be accompanied by pianist Marco Scolastra, at 3 p.m. at the Harvard Musical Association. The concert, which is sponsored by the Nichols House Museum, will be followed by a reception featuring a 1907 Caruso cocktail as well as an opportunity to dine with Milhofer and Scolastra in a private Beacon Hill home. This special event will raise funds for the Nichols House Museum’s conservation and programs. Please visit www.nicholshousemuseum.org for more information and to purchase tickets, or call 617-227-6993.

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