Caruso and the earthquake
One night Enrico Caruso was serenading San Francisco opera lovers in Bizet’s Carmen, the next night the city was in flames after the massive 1906 earthquake. The earthquake and fire destroyed the opera house and Caruso never sang in San Francisco again. Read more about the earthquake, and see a picture of Caruso in costume for Carmen, at National Public Radio’s website. You can borrow a recording of Caruso singing “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” from Carmen from the library to get a feel for the magic of that night. Or if you’re heading out San Francisco way, Carmen is once again in the SF Opera’s 2006-7 repertoire.