Enrico Caruso (1873—1921) was widely regarded as the finest oper atic tenor of his day; he certainly was the most famous. He was probably the fir st celebrity whose fame as a recording artist equaled the renown he enjoyed on t he stage. It is estimated that 5 million single-sided Caruso discs were sold dur ing his lifetime. Caruso’s first important performance was in Milan in 189 8 when he appeared as the leading tenor in Giordano’s Fedora. He made his debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in November 1903. In the early year s of his career Caruso possessed a naturally warm, mellow voice that was powerfu l in all registers. It was this power in the middle register that caused some to believe he was actually a baritone. As he aged, his voice grew darker in qualit y but retained its expressiveness and power. Caruso made his first recordings in April of 1902 for the Gramophone Company. His voice was deemed perfect for the acoustic recording process. His fabulously successful recording career with the Victor Talking Machine company began in February, 1904 and continued until Septe mber, 1920.