23/07/2021

The sound of silence: Enrico Caruso sings loud and clear (in a 1918 silent movie)!

Enrico Caruso sings as you’ve never… seen before! Yes, because the most legendary voice in the history of  ‘bel canto’ has always lacked a body: but now, here it is. One hundred years after the death of the great Neapolitan tenor (on 2nd August 1921), the Cineteca di Bologna commemorates Enrico Caruso by presenting the restoration of My Cousin, the only survivor of the two films in which he appeared, at the Cinema Ritrovato festival.

It was made in 1918 and is therefore a silent film, but thanks to an extraordinary effort to restore the film and synchronise it with his actual voice, we can finally see (and hear!) Enrico Caruso sing the celebrated aria Vesti la giubba (better known as Ridi, pagliaccio, or On with the Motley), from Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci.

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For the 100th anniversary of Caruso’s death
Saturday 24, h. 21.45, LunettArena and Sunday 25, h. 21.30, Teatro Arena del Sole, My cousin (Mio cugino, USA/1918, 66’) by Edward José.
Live musical accompaniment by Daniele Furlati (piano), François Laurent (voice and mandolin) and Guido Sodo (chitarra).
For the restoration of My Cousin five elements – preserved by MoMA – The Museum of Modern Art, BFI National Archive, Gosfil’mofond and EYE Filmmuseum – were inspected, digitised and compared. The restoration used a duplicate negative preserved by MoMA, produced from a nitrate print with Swedish.