Maria Farneti (8 December 1877 — 17 October 1955) was an Italian soprano singer.
Farneti, "said to be the greatest beauty on the Italian stage", made her official debut in 1899, as Mimi in La bohème in Sansepolcro. In 1900 she sang at Bologna with Enrico Caruso. In 1902 she made her North American debut and sang in Pietro Mascagni's Iris in New York. In 1906 she gave her interpretation of Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly in Rome and Naples, and she was well-reviewed in Arianna in 1908. She sang on tours of South America, at theatres in Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Rio de Janeiro, in 1911 and 1913. She was the first to sing the title role of Mascagni's Isabeau. Her last stage role was in Puccini's La Rondine in 1917.
She made recordings in 1910 (for Edison), 1914-1917 (for Fonotipia Records), and 1930-1931 (for Columbia). In 1922 she coached Irish soprano Margaret Burke Sheridan for a performance of Madama Butterfly.
Farneti married a lawyer, Luigi Riboldi, in 1917, and spent her retirement in a villa on Lake Como. The Riboldis were friends with Arturo Toscanini and his wife, into the 1940s. Maria Farneti died in 1955, aged 78 years. There is a street named for her in Forlì, and another in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2015, there was a musical commemoration in Forlì to mark sixty years since her death.
- Roberto Staccioli, "Maria Farneti" Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 45(1995).
- Alan Mallach, The Autumn of Italian Opera: From Verismo to Modernism, 1890-1915 (University Press of New England 2007): 187-188. ISBN 9781555536831
- "Offer is Rejected" Indianapolis News (April 13, 1912): 13. via Newspapers.com
- Pierre Van Rensselaer Key, Bruno Zirato, Enrico Caruso: A Biography (Little, Brown 1922): 176.
- "The Week in Society" Brooklyn Life (July 21, 1906): 9. via Newspapers.com
- Alan Mallach, "The Mascagni Tour of 1902: An Italian Composer Confronts the American Musical World" Opera Quarterly 7(4)(Winter 1990): 13.
- "Maria Farneti's Success in Massenet's Arianna" Musical Courier (January 22, 1908): 14.
- Ashot Arakelyan, "Maria Farneti (Soprano)" Forgotten Opera Singers (August 22, 2011).
- Maria Farneti, "Otello. Ave Maria" Edison Blue Amberol: 28139. William R. Moran collection, UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive.
- Anne Chambers, La Sheridan, Adorable Diva: Margaret Burke Sheridan, Irish Prima-donna, 1889-1958 (Wolfhound 1989): 83. ISBN 9780863272301
- Arturo Toscanini, The Letters of Arturo Toscanini (University of Chicago Press 2006): 73.ISBN 9780226733401
- Via Maria Farneti, Forlì; Tuttocittà.
- Rua Maria Farneti, Jardim São Roberto, São Paulo.
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