by George Jellinek

        1873        Born in Naples, 25 February, to a poor family, the third of seven children;
                        receives his primary education from his mother

        1883        Works as a mechanic in the daytime; attends a school for choral singing in
                        the evening

        1888        Sings his first solo at the Church of San Severino, Naples. His mother,
                        Anna Baldini Caruso dies; his father Marcellino remarries

        1891        Begins vocal studies with Guglielmo Vergine

        1895        Sings the Tantum ergo at Vespers in Caserta Cathedral (2 January);
                        makes his operatic debut at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples in Morelli's
                        L'amico Francesco (15 March); sings principal tenor roles at various
                        theatres in Naples, Caserta, Salerno, and Cairo

        1896-97   Expands his repertory and improves his high notes through coaching
                        with Vincenzo Lombardi. Creates leading roles in Giordano's Il voto
                        (10 November 1897) and Cilea's L'Arlesiana (27 November); Begins
                        decade-long liason with the soprano Ada Giachetti (two sons - Rodolfo,
                        b. 1898, and Enrico Jr., b. 1904 - will survive, both bearing Caruso's name)

        1898-99   Appears at leading theatres in Milan, Genoa, Livorno; creates the principal
                        tenor part in Giordano's Fedora at Milan's Teatro Lirico (17 November 1898);
                        Tours Russia and Argentina with an Italian opera company

        1900-01   La Scala debut in La Boheme under Toscanini; also sings in L'elisir d'amore
                        and Mefistofele and creates the principal tenor part in Mascagni's Le Maschere
                        (17 January 1901) - all conducted by Toscanini. Travels to Buenos Aires with
                        a company led by Toscanini; Debut at Teatro San Carlo in Naples; after being
                        coolly received, resolves never to sing in Naples again - a vow he will honour

        1902        Sings at Monte Carlo and Covent Garden, London; Creates principal tenor
                        roles in Franchetti's Germania (La Scala, 11 March) and Cilea's Adriana
                        Lecouveur (Teatro Lirico, 6 November); Records twenty sides for the
                        Gramophone and Typewriter Company in Milan

        1903        Makes his Metropolitan Opera debut (Rigoletto) on opening night (23 November)
                        (With one exception in 1906, he will be featured in every Metropolitan opening
                        through 1920); Signs and exclusive contract with the Victor Talking Maching

        1904        Begins his lifelong recording career with the Victor Talking Machine Company
                        by completing ten sides in a single afternoon (1 February); European tour takes
                        him to Monte Carlo, Paris, London, Dresden, Berlin; Embarks on his first tour
                        of the United States

        1906        Sings in Washington DC for a vast audience including President Theodore
                        Roosevelt, to whom he is introduced; Is appearing in San Fransisco when
                        the earthquake strikes (18 April)

        1907        Although indisposed, he sings Radames in Aida in Budapest; he is unkindly
                        received but makes a hit in the same role in Vienna two nights later; With
                        Nellie Melba, he entertains King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra at
                        Buckingham Palace (8 June)

        1910        Visits Paris with the touring Metropolitan Opera singing in Aida, Pagliacci,
                        Manon Lescaut; creates the role of Dick Johnson in Puccini's La Fanciulla
                        del West (10 December)

        1915        Sings the leading tenor role in Saint-Saens's Samson et Dalila for the first
                        time at the Met on opening night (15 December)

        1918        Appears in two silent movies; Married Dorothy Park Benjamin (20 August);
                        Performs for War Charities in New York along with John McCormack, Al
                        Jolson, and George M. Cohan; Sings Cohan's Over There before a huge
                        audience in New York's Central Park (19 September)

        1919        Celebrates the start of his 25th year in opera with a gala Metropolitan
                        performance (22 March); Sings Radames before 25,000 spectators in
                        a Mexico City bullring (2 November); adds his last role, Eleazar in La
                        Juive, to his repertory (22 November); daughter Gloria is born (December)

        1920        Opens his last Met season as Eleazar (15 November); sings his last
                        performance ever in the same role (24 December)

        1921        Stricken with pleurisy (January); undergoes several operations; Embarks for
                        Naples with his wife and daughter (28 May); Dies in Naples (2 August)

        It was on one of his first London visits that Caruso came to create some of his earliest
        caracatures. Henseforth this art would become a favourite form of relaxation for him,
        and it could have become quite profitable. In later years he chanced upon one that had
        found its way on to a dealer's list; the price seemed rather high and his eyebrows shot
        up - "That's good pay for ten minutes work", he said. "Better we stop singing and
        start drawing".
        Michael Scott - The Great Caruso, p. 64