Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jul 14, 2013

Cesira Ferrani (Soprano) (Turin 1863 – Pollone 1943)

Her real name was Cesira Zanazzio. She studied at the Liceo Musicale of  Turin under Antonietta Fricci. She made her debut in 1887 at the Teatro Regio, Turin as Marguerite in ‘’Faust’’ of Gounod and sang in the same year at the Teatro Carignano, Turin the role of Gilda in ‘’Rigoletto’’. Then she guested in Venice, Catania and Turin.. In 1892 she appeared at the Teatro Carlo Felice of Genoa as Amelia in Verdi’s ‘’Simon Boccanegra’’ and as Loreley in Catalani’s ‘’Loreley’’ under Arturo Toscanini. There followed other appearances at the Teatro Comunale, Bologna (among other things in 1895 in the premiere of the opera ‘’Consuelo’’ of Orefice in the title role), then in Bari, Brescia and Udine. On 1. 2. 1893 she sang at the Teatro Regio, Turin in the premiere of Puccini’s ‘’Manon Lescaut’’ in the title role; in the same theatre she created on 1. 2. 1896 in the premiere of Puccini’s ‘’La Bohème’’ the role of Mimi. She took part at La Scala in the premiere of the opera ‘’Il Fior d'Alpe’’ Alberto Franchetti (15. 3. 1894), at the Teatro Lirico, Milan in the premiere of G. Orefice’ operas ‘’Chopin’’ (25. 11. 1901). On 17. 1. 1901 she sang in one of six concurrent premieres of Mascagni’s ‘’Le Maschere’’ at the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa. In 1893 she guested at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, in 1894 at La Scala, where she appeared during the following 15 years over and over again. Tours brought her in Spain and Russia. In 1898 she appeared at the opera house of Cairo, also at the Teatro San Carlo, Lisbon. In 1909 she retired from the stage, after her appearance had brought a shocking failure as a Mélisande in the Italian première of Debussy ‘’Pelléas et Mélisande’’ (under the direction of Toscanini) at La Scala in 1908, which recurred at the Teatro Costanzi, Rome. Then she worked as a pedagogue in Turin. 

Chronology of some appearances

1889 Ferrara  Teatro Comunale Lohengrin (Elsa)
1891 Trento  Teatro Sociale Lohengrin (Elsa)
1891 Brescia  Teatro Grande Lohengrin (Elsa)
1892 Catania  Teatro Bellini Ernani (Elvira)
1892 Genova  Teatro Carlo Felice Loreley (Loreley) World  Premiere
1893 San Paulo  Teatro San Josè Lohengrin (Elsa)
1893 Torino  Teatro Regio Manon Lescaut (Manon) World  Premiere
1896 Torino  Teatro Regio Boheme (Mimi) World  Premiere
1896 Trento  Teatro Sociale  Boheme (Mimi)
1896 Brescia  Teatro Grande  Boheme (Mimi)
1896 Varese  Teatro Sociale Boheme (Mimi)
1896 Genova  Politeama Genovese  Boheme (Mimi)
1897 Buenos Ayres  Teatro dell'Opera Boheme (Mimi)
1897 Montevideo  Teatro Solis Boheme (Mimi)
1897 Lisbona  Teatro San Carlos Lohengrin (Elsa)
1898 Torino  Teatro Regio Boheme (Mimi)
1898  Asti  Teatro Alfieri Boheme (Mimi)
1898 Genova  Politeama Genovese Boheme (Mimi)
1898  Il Cairo  Teatro Khediviale Boheme (Mimi)
1899 Alessandria d'Egitto  Teatro Zizinia Boheme (Mimi)
1899 Lisbona Teatro San Carlos Boheme (Mimi)
1900 Lisbona  Teatro San Carlos Lohengrin (Elsa)
1902 Milano Teatro Dal Verme Boheme (Mimi)
1902 Barcellona  Teatro Liceo Boheme (Mimi)
1903 Oporto  Teatro S.Joao Boheme (Mimi)
1903 Firenze  Teatro della Pergola Adriana Lecouvreur (Adriana)
1903 Bologna  Teatro Comunale  Adriana Lecouvreur (Adriana)
1905 Oporto  Teatro S.Joao Boheme (Mimi)


G&T, Milano 1902-12
Manon Lescaut (Puccini): L'ora o Tirsi   53147 5510a
Boheme (Puccini): Mi chiamano Mimi 53281 2914b
Bohème (Puccini): Addio senza rancor 53282  2915b
Manon Lescaut (Puccini): In quelle trine morbide 53283 2916b
Mefistofele (Boito):  L'altra notte 53285 2927b
Lohengrin (Wagner): Vieni al mio ostel  54033  2930b
Faust (Gounod): Tardi si fà with Giovanni Apostolu 54035 2931b

1 comment:

  1. Hi there - you have a very extensive chronology of her performance history. I am researching Cesira Ferrani at the moment and would love to see a citation/reference for this information so I can know where to look next!