A fascinating story comes via The Times: “Phantoms of opera Nellie Melba and Enrico Caruso break 100-year silence.”
100 years ago at the Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris, 24 gramophone records were buried with the intention of teaching the world “[100 years from now] about the state of our talking machines and the voices of the principal singers of our times.” Adding to the mystique of the “buried voices” project, The Phantom of the Opera (in original novel form) begins and ends in the vault in which the records were left.
The result of the 1907 project comes to a head now as the records have been unearthed and fully digitized online for all of us to enjoy. Click here for the French website that now hosts all of these files. Click here for the audio page where you can listen to Nellie Melba (of melba toast and peach melba fame), Enrico Caruso, and other opera stars of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Truly amazing.