By Cindy Cosentino
Aaron Caruso is a classically trained crossover tenor who uses his powerful voice to emote both classic operatic songs as well as contemporary music. Trained in both the United States of America and Italy under the learned hand of Maestro Luigi Veccia, Aaron is looking forward to his upcoming performance in Canada.
While Aaron’s passion for music began at a young age-playing the piano from the tender age of 4, he didn’t realize he had a voice until years later. In fact, while he was drawn toward music from infancy, he felt most comfortable expressing himself musically behind the piano. When asked how he got his start in singing, Aaron fondly remembers how it all began: with a childhood game of football. “During a game of football with some friends, my gold necklace fell off and on the necklace hung my religious medals, which is something very traditional in the Italian culture.” Aaron goes on to say that when he eventually told his mother that he had lost his necklace, days later, she told him to go back to the park and look for it and that she would pray to Saint Anthony (the patron saint of lost articles) that he would find it. Call it luck or divine intervention, but Aaron found his necklace and due to a promise made by his mother to Saint Anthony, Aaron would sing in church as thanks for finding his lost necklace.
Aaron hasn’t forgotten his Italian roots (growing up in a Sicilian household), and his contributions to the church and the Italian community have not gone unnoticed as he was invested into the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, an honour by which Aaron feels humbled, and most recently he was recognized by the Connecticut Historical Society for his contributions to the Italian community. “I am proud of my Italian heritage and culture which have helped to make me the person and artist that I am today.”
“I am humbled by this great honour [being knighted by the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem]. I began singing around the age of 13 in church and I have
never looked back. Music, truly, is a gift.”
After Aaron obtained his Bachelor of Musical Arts with a concentration in Italian language from the University of Michigan, he moved to Italy to train with Maestro Veccia and later moved to New York to continue his training with the great Maestro. It was through these years of training that Aaron found his sound as a classical crossover tenor. When asked what it means to be a crossover singer, he replies: “I am classically trained, but I can also sing songs that have a more popular sound.” Aaron also specializes in classic Neapolitan music.
The late Joan Rivers: Aaron has headlined various festivals throughout the United States, including a performance at the legendary Carnegie Hall, but perhaps most notably, Aaron was the opening performer for the late, Joan Rivers. When asked about this experience, Aaron recalls Joan’s gracious nature, which stuck with him as a characteristic he strives to emulate in his career. “Joan was such a sweet and kind person to me. I would ask her [Joan] stage questions and she always gave me such great advice as someone who had been performing as long as she had.” Joan spoke very highly of Aaron and would wait backstage at each performance just to hear Aaron sing the famous high note in Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma”.
“You sing like Mario Lanza; I want to see you in the movies…” Tony Bennett
Aaron’s musical influences include the likes of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti and classic, Italian tenors such as Tito Schipa and Beniamino Gigli. The artist which has influenced Aaron’s music the most has been Mario Lanza. It is because of Aaron’s admiration for Lanza’s voice that it was such a great dream come true to be chosen by 15-time Grammy award winner, Phil Ramone and movie producer, Sonny Grosso, to portray Lanza in a musical production.
Most memorable performance:
Aaron has been performing for over 20 years and perhaps one of the most poignant performances he has given to date was singing before a packed audience at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City for one of the fallen fire chiefs after the 9/11 attacks. “Seeing thousands of police officers and firemen there to support their fallen brother was one of the most memorable performances. It was truly a touching experience-one which I will never forget.”
Caruso in Canada: Aaron has performed in rural parts of Northern Ontario and parts of the Greater Toronto Area, but he is ready to showcase his talents further. Aaron has performed both as a solo artist and alongside some of Canada’s local talent. When asked about the Canadian audiences he has encountered thus far he states: “I find the Canadian audiences to be very knowledgeable and wonderful.”
What can you expect?
Aaron is a true performer and he offers something for everyone, from Italian classics to Broadway hits. He has been described as “a mix between Andrea Bocelli and Michael Bublé.” Aaron leaves his audiences wanting more, while bringing them to their feet. “I love what I do and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
Aaron is honoured to be a part of this year’s Castello Italia being held on Sunday, May 29 at the historic Casa Loma as the kick-off to Italian Heritage Month in the Province of Ontario.
For more information about Aaron Caruso please visit his official webpage: aaroncaruso.com or his Facebook page.
By Cindy Cosentino