Excerpt from an article in The Strait Times (Singapore – November 19th, 1870)
THE ITALIAN OPERA
The first performance of the Batativa Italian Opera Company was given at the Town Hall last evening. The opera selected for the occasion was Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermorr, with which most of our readers are familiar. The case was an excellent one, Signora Tortolini, an artists already favourably known here, taking the role of Lucia, which she sustained throughout with surprising power and pathos. The other leadings characters were, Signor Magnani, the aritone, as Lord Asthon; Signor Franchini, the first tenor, as Edgardo; Signor Gasperini, the Basso, as Arturo; and Signor Bartolomeotti, second bass, as the Hunstsman. All the characters were ably sustained, and the singing throughout was beyond criticism, eliciting loud and repeated bursts of applause. The duets were sung with great effect and precision, but the quartet in which Lucia, Lord Asthon, Edgardo, and Raimondo, all took part, was really magnificent. . . . . .
But in the duet between Edgardo and Raimond, the tenor of Signor Franchini and Singor Gasperini’s rich bass afforded a musical treat to which the halls of our theatre have never echoed before. . . . . .
The death of Edgardo, which closed the performance, was a very affecting scene, in which the solo was very touchingly sung by Signor Franchini, who, as the curtain fell, was loudly and vociferously applauded.
Full article available at the Singapore National Library
A recent interpretation of Edgardo’s death scene.