Ferni was born in Como. She began her career as a violinist in Paris and Brussels, and later studied voice with famed soprano Giuditta Pasta. She made her stage debut in Turin, as Leonora in Donizetti's La favorite, in 1862.
She was married to the prominent Verdi baritone Leone Giraldoni (1824-1897). They had a son, Eugenio Giraldoni, whom she taught. Like his father, Eugenio became an operatic baritone, creating the role of Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca in 1900.
Ferni retired from the stage in 1883, and opened a singing school in Milan, and later in St. Petersburg, Russia. Among her students was the soprano Eugenia Burzio. She died in Milan in 1926, two years after her son.
- Le guide de l'opéra, Mancini & Rouveroux, (Fayard, 1986), ISBN 2-213-01563-5
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