Ferruccio Giannini, born Nov. 15th, 1868 in Ponte a Lania/Toscana. Emigrated to the USA at 17 years old. Operatic debut in 1891 in Boston. For the following years, he sang with the Mapleson Opera Company. Later, he ran his own opera company in Philadelphia, where he also died Sept. 17th, 1948. His daughter was the soprano Dusolina Giannini. Ferruccio Giannini's importance rests upon the fact that his Berliner recordings of March 4th, 1896, are considered to be the first operatic records ever made. And he was maybe the first operatic "record star" - remember, here we're talking about a time when records were sold in bicycle shops!
I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger for the recording and notes.