The real caveat came, however, when Jules Massenet, incredibly impressed with his gorgeous voice, manly physique, and eloquent stage presence offered to rewrite the tenor part of Werther in the opera by that name specifically for him. Battistini accepted, and the rest is history,. We are fortunate that he recorded "Ah non mi ridestar" the primary aria so that history has a momento of this occasion.
From 1914-1918 he actually had his own very successful touring company that toured Europe extensively. He busied himself between his opera company, recitals and guest appearance in leading opera house. The rigorous schedule, however, took its toll on his health, and he developed heart disease near the end of this period.
Battistini sang into his 70's with apparently little deterioration to the voice. He retired from the stage in 1928, dying at his villa of heart failure a few months later. Below is his rendition of "Ah, non mi ridestar". What do you think? King of the baritones or not?