The Italian Almanac

Enrico Caruso

Italian News - May 23

More than a thousand previously unknown letters, said to have been written by the legendary tenor Enrico Caruso, are to be made available to the public next month, according to a report published yesterday. Mystery surrounds the find, which promises to be among the most exciting musicological discoveries of recent years. A Verona lawyer said he was handling the release of the papers for a client who wished to remain anonymous.

"We can say that 1,200 [of the] letters were written by Caruso," the lawyer, Alberto Franchi, said. "Then there are those to Caruso." Altogether there were some 2,000 documents, including cheques and other records. Mr Franchi said the letters were due to go on display at an exhibition in Verona from June 17.

His client was an elderly industrialist from northern Italy, who wanted to make the documents, bequeathed to him by his grandfather, publicly available before he died. How the papers originally came into his grandfather's possession is unclear. Mr Franchi said he had had the letters examined by handwriting experts who confirmed they were written by the man many consider to be the 20th century's greatest tenor.