Persiani, Fanny (née Tacchinardi)

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Persiani, Fanny (née Tacchinardi)

Persiani, Fanny (née Tacchinardi), renowned Italian soprano and singing teacher and daughter of Nicola (Niccolò) Tacchinardi, known as “La Persiani”; b. Rome, Oct. 4,1812; d. Neuilly-sur-Seine, May 3,1867. She studied with her father, and performed at an early age in his small training theater in Florence. After marrying the composer Giuseppe Persiani in 1830, she made her professional debut as Fournier-Gorre’s Francesca da Rimini in Livorno in 1832. Following successful appearances in Venice and Milan, she gained distinction as a leading performer of roles in operas by Bellini and Donizetti, creating the title role in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor in Naples in 1835; she also sang in her husband’s operas, including Ines de Castro. She made her first appearance in Paris at the Théâtre-Italien in 1837, and continued to sing there with brilliant success until 1850. She made her London debut at the King’s Theatre in La Sonnambula in 1838, remaining a favorite there, and later at Covent Garden, until 1849; also sang in Vienna (1837, 1844). After singing at the Italian Opera in St. Petersburg (1850–52), she settled in Paris as a voice teacher. Blessed with a small but beautiful coloratura voice, she had few equals in her day.


Chaudesaigues, Madame P. (Paris, 1839); P. Ciarlantini, Giuseppe Persiani e F. Tacchinardi: Due Protagonisti del Melodramma Romantico (Ancona and Bologna, 1988).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire