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Adelina Patti

Madame Adelina Patti (1843–1919) was a renowned Italian opera singer, widely regarded as one of the greatest sopranos of the 19th century. Born on February 19, 1843, in Madrid, Spain, to Italian parents, she was named Adela Juana Maria Patti. Her father, Salvatore Patti, was a tenor and vocal instructor, while her mother, Caterina Barilli, was a soprano.

Adelina Patti's musical talent was evident from a young age, and she received her early vocal training from her parents. At the age of six, she made her stage debut in New York City. Her family later moved to Italy, where she continued her studies with influential vocal coaches, including Manuel García and Francesco Lamperti.

Patti's breakthrough came in 1859 when she performed at the Academy of Music in New York, receiving widespread acclaim for her brilliant voice and remarkable technique. Over the next few years, she toured extensively in Europe and the United States, earning a reputation as a leading soprano.

In 1861, she debuted at London's Covent Garden, solidifying her status as an international opera sensation. Patti's vocal range, clear tone, and exceptional agility captivated audiences and critics alike. She became particularly known for her interpretations of roles in Italian and French operas, performing works by composers such as Verdi, Donizetti, and Gounod.

Throughout her career, Madame Adelina Patti collaborated with some of the most celebrated conductors and musicians of her time, including Giuseppe Verdi, Charles Gounod, and Franz Liszt. Her performances were characterized by a combination of technical brilliance, emotional expression, and a captivating stage presence.

Patti's popularity extended beyond the operatic stage. She also excelled in performing chamber music and art songs, showcasing the versatility of her voice. Her repertoire included not only classical pieces but also popular songs of the time.

In addition to her vocal talents, Patti was known for her beauty and charisma, making her a prominent figure in high society. Her personal life was marked by a series of marriages, including unions with French tenor Ernesto Nicolini and Swedish aristocrat Baron Cederström.

Madame Adelina Patti retired from the stage in 1914, concluding a remarkable career that spanned over five decades. She spent her later years in Wales at her estate, Craig-y-Nos Castle, and died on September 27, 1919.


  1. Steane, J. B. (2003). The Grand Tradition: Seventy Years of Singing on Disc. Amadeus Press.
  2. Kuhn, L. (2000). Adelina Patti: Queen of Hearts. Northeastern University Press.
  3. Scott, M. (1991). Adelina Patti: Queen of Hearts. The Scarecrow Press.
  4. Blyth, A. (1992). Opera on Record. Hutchinson.
  5. Osborne, R. (1994). The Complete Operas of Verdi. Da Capo Press.

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