Persaini, Fanny



Celebrated Italian operatic soprano; born at Rome. She was taught by her father, the noted tenor, Niccolo Tacchinardi, and when eleven years old appeared at the private theatre in his Conservatory; three years later singing in public concerts and theatricals. But she had no thought of the stage, and in 1830 married Signer Persiam, composer and conductor, and settled at her father's home. In 1832 she took part in Fournier's Francesca di Rimini, at Leghorn, and soon received offers from Milan and Florence. Her reputation was assured on her appearance at Venice in 1833. After playing at La Scala, Milan, and at Rome, where Misantropea e Pentimento and I promessi sposi were written for her, she created Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, at Naples in 1835. It was in this, her favorite role, that, after playing in Genoa and elsewhere in Italy, she made her Paris debut in 1837, at the Theatre des Italiens, and with her performance of Carolina in II Matrimonio Segreto, she became the idol of the Parisians. In 1838 she appeared in London, first as Amina in  La Sonnambula, then as Lucia, Linda, Elvira and other hero'ines, and for the next ten years, with the exception of a short engagement at Brussels and Wiesbaden, she was in Paris and London. In 1849 she began a tour of Holland and Russia, gave concerts in Germany, France, Spain and the British Isles, and after one last appearance at Drury Lane, in 1858, retired to Paris, where she was seen for the last time as Zerlina in Don Giovanni. Her appearance was not striking, but her voice, though rather thin, was clear and brilliant. Her register was wide and her vocalization remarkable.