A Museum for Enrico Caruso in the Royal Palace of Naples

The Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano: “The Neapolitan tenor was also the first to understand the value of the recording industry” – Massimo Osanna (Mic): “Thus he will ideally be brought back to the San Carlo theater” – The mayor also attended the inauguration on 20 July from New York

A museum dedicated to the figure and artistic productions of Enrico Caruso will be hosted inside the Royal Palace of Naples, where it will be inaugurated on 20 July. To make the announcement, in the vicinity of the 150th anniversary of the birth of the famous tenor which falls on February 25th, was the Minister of Culture, Gennaro Sangiuliano, in the Spadolini hall of the Mic at the Roman College, also proposing to the mayor of Naples to name in Caruso the Neapolitan airport of Capodichino.

“I express all my happiness for the accomplishment of this enterprise – said Sangiuliano – I am not a historian of song nor of the Neapolitan one in particular, but I know its international value, which before Caruso was not what we all know today: the affirmation of Caruso’s musical genius goes hand in hand with the explosion in the world of the value of the Neapolitan song, whose international value is now universally recognized.And Caruso was also the first to understand the value of the record industry and was able to intuit its commercial value, further credit that must be recognized to his figure”.

However, Sangiuliano also recalled that “Caruso had a complex relationship with his city, he was not welcomed at the San Carlo Theater as perhaps he deserved, despite it being his great aspiration as a young ‘parking attendant’. Success did not exist, but it still remains one of the most emblematic and representative characters of Naples in the world.The Caruso Museum also wants to be a recognition of identity, because culture is also formed by our roots and our traditions and this character is certainly a part of that sediment that Vico called ‘idem feeling common’: we are children of our history, which is made up of large and small pieces”.

“The Royal Palace of Naples was thought of because it meant bringing Enrico Caruso back to the San Carlo theater… A particularly suitable and highly iconic place to restore the importance, which was not yet perceived in Naples, to such an enormous character in the history of music”. Thus Massimo Osanna, director general of the Mic museums, explained the decision taken on the Caruso Museum which will be inaugurated on July 20 in Naples.

“It will be a space conceived as museums must be conceived today – underlined Osanna – not with windows in front of which one passes absentmindedly, but places for meeting, comparison, reflection, events. A museum with objects and memorabilia that ‘make ‘ memory and which tell the life and biography of Enrico Caruso, but also a technologically advanced, lively and dynamic museum, as all the museums of our national museum system will soon be,” assured Osanna.

For his part, Mario Epifani, director of the Royal Palace of Naples, declared that “this is how we pay homage to the great tenor who has been recognized all over the world but, singularly, not in the city where he was born and died. A new exhibition space will be inaugurated of 500 square meters where Neapolitans as well as Italian and foreign visitors will be able to remember Enrico Caruso through his music and his memorabilia in an exciting multimedia journey, for a project created with modern technologies to revive a glorious past”.

We will also make use of the collaboration with the Ricordi and Puccini Archives, with the San Carlo theaters in Naples, La Scala in Milan, the Metropolitan in New York, with the Bologna film library, with the Carusiani study center in Milan, with the Pituello fund and Villa Bellosguardo, the Italian residence of Caruso, of Lastra a Signa in Tuscany. And the mayor of New York, Eric Leroy Adams, and the director of the Metropolitan Opera House, among others, will be present at the inauguration in Naples, demonstrating Caruso’s strong ties with the USA.

(by Enzo Bonaiuto)