Ponselle on Fridays, Caruso in the Ether
Caruso died in 1921, but you can listen to him singing an aria from Forza here.
Video of Verdi
The video of the cortege is the earliest known moving picture to have been recorded in Italy. It is probably not Verdi’s actual funeral (which was a small affair) but the ceremony in February, 1901 in which his and his wife’s remains were transferred to the grounds of the retirement home for musicians that Verdi had founded. At that event, Arturo Toscanini led 800 singers performing "Va, pensiero" from Nabucco.
The Act I prelude from La Traviata is adapted from a performance conducted by Arturo Toscanini, made available courtesy of The Immortal Performances Recorded Music Society (Richard Caniell).
Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan: A Historical Guide has more on why “Va, pensiero,” from Verdi’s 1842 opera Nabucco, became almost the Italian national anthem.
For those who like to follow along:
Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate [ Go, thought, on golden wings]
Copyright (c) 2013 Dianne L. Durante