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Letters: Enrico Caruso, Ronnie James Dio

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Listeners respond to a story about tenor Enrico Caruso, and our remembrance of metal legend Ronnie James Dio. Robert Siegel and Michele Norris read from listeners' e-mails.


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.


And I'm Robert Siegel, and it's time now for your letters. On Monday, we aired two appreciations of two very different singers. First was Tom Huizenga's story on opera great Enrico Caruso.


NORRIS: (Singing in foreign language)

SIEGEL: Martha Loomis(ph) of Washington, D.C., writes this: My ears pricked when I heard that unmistakable voice and was taken back some 30 and more years to south Philadelphia and Victor's(ph), a restaurant named, I was told, because it had been, back in the day, an RCA Victor record store. Suddenly, I heard something extraordinary, magnificent, a revelation. Asking the waiter, I was told it was Caruso singing the sextet from "Lucia."


NORRIS: (Singing in foreign language)

NORRIS: Ms. Loomis continues: To this day, and given the right mood, I will play the sextet loud and scream along - I cannot say sing. Thank you, Mr. Huizenga, although I suspect my neighbors may not.


NORRIS: (Singing) We're off to the witch. We may never, never come home. But the magic that we'll feel is worth a lifetime...

SIEGEL: From Caruso, we moved to a remembrance of heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio. Well, some of you thought the juxtaposition was jarring. Polly Hanson(ph) of Deerfield, Illinois, for one. She writes: While I loved hearing Huizenga's essay on Caruso, the segue into heavy metal rocker Ronnie James Dio for pure shock value was predictable and trite. You didn't have to do it just because he died recently. I was disappointed to hear NPR stoop to such antics.

NORRIS: But many of you are also apparently Dio fans and didn't think we were stooping at all. Eric McIntyre(ph) of Grinnell, Iowa, writes: Thank you so much, Robert and Melissa, for your wonderful remembrance of Ronnie James Dio. When I heard that he had died, I found myself transported back to my early teenage years, when my Walkman was perpetually occupied by a Dio cassette.

I have gone on to become a professional orchestra musician, conductor and classical composer, but it was as a young metalhead basking in the sonic glories of Dio that I first truly discovered a love of music.

NORRIS: I was struck yet again at how cool NPR really is and that the title ALL THINGS CONSIDERED is truly fitting.

Well, thanks so much for all of your letters, and please keep them coming. Just go to, and click on contact us.

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