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Famous Family History Enrico Caruso Children

About the family of famous singer Enrico Caruso, history of his sons and daughter.

ENRICO CARUSO (1873-1921), Italian singer

His Fruits: None of his descendants inherited Caruso's magnificent voice. He sired four sons during his 11-year liaison with the ambitious married singer Ada Giachetti (1863-1946), who, after Caruso's death, adopted his surname as her own. Two sons died in infancy and two survived to live out a somewhat obscure adulthood. Caruso's mistress resented the impositions of motherhood on her own operatic career, and she deserted both lover and sons for another attachment in 1908. A doting though often absent father, Caruso showered his sons with gifts, affection, and constant worry. The two boys were denied few material advantages, and Caruso made them his legal heirs.

Rodolfo Caruso (1898-?), nicknamed Fofo, was a blond-curled, sickly child. Educated in a Florentine academy, he entered the Italian army and, to his father's despair, served in W.W.I. Details of his subsequent life are lacking.

Enrico Caruso, Jr. (1904- ), called "Mimmi" from birth, was raised by his English nurse-governess, Louise Saer. Thinking that the boy needed more discipline, Caruso once pleaded with the mother of singer Geraldine Farrar to adopt the child, and was gently but firmly refused. When Caruso married in 1918, Mimmi lived with his new family in America and attended Culver Military Academy. After his father's death, he took voice lessons in Los Angeles with the goal of singing in opera, but eventually discontinued study. In 1952 he and his sons Enrico and Roberto sought to restrict showing of the MGM film The Great Caruso, stating that the picture was "full of historical inaccuracies" and that star Mario Lanza was "just a beginner, with a crude, uneducated voice, unworthy of Caruso."

Gloria Caruso (1919- ), born in New York's Knickerbocker Hotel during a Caruso engagement at the Met, was the only child of Caruso's marriage to Dorothy Benjamin (1893-1955), the daughter of a literary New England family. Maestro Fernando Tanara, a well-known Venetian voice teacher, later coached Gloria, but she too abandoned thoughts of a professional singing career. Married to an American, she raised her family in the U.S. but later divorced her husband and resumed her maiden name. In 1949 she presided over the auction of Caruso's bequest to her, a collection of antique snuffboxes and watches. She maintains a lifelong interest in opera from her New York City home, and her occasional presence adds a special attraction to Met activities.

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