Woman of the Century/Adelina Patti
PATTI, Mme. Adelina, prima donna, born in Madrid, Spain, 19th February, 1843. Her maiden name was Adelina Juana Maria Clorinda Patti. Her father was Salvatore Patti, a Sicilian operatic tenor, who came to the United States in 1848, and died in Paris, France, in 1859. Her mother, known by her stage-name, Signora Barilli, was a native of Rome, Italy, and a well-known singer. She sang the title role in "Norma" on the night before the birth of Adelina. The mother was twice married, and her first husband was Sig. Barilli. The Patti family removed to the United States in 1844 and settled in New York City. ADELINA PATTI. Adelina's great musical talent and her remarkably fine voice were early discovered by her family, and in infancy she was put under training. She learned the rudiments of music from her step-brother, Sig. Barilli, and her brother-in-law, Maurice Strakosch. She could sing before she could talk well, and at four years of age she sang many operatic airs correctly. When seven years old, she sang "Casta Diva" and "Una Voce" in a concert in New York City. In 1852 she made her debut as a concert-singer, in a tour in Canada with Ole Bull and Strakosch. In 1854 she sang again in New York City, and she then went with Gottschalk, the pianist, to the West Indies. She thus earned the money to complete her musical education, and she studied for five years. She made her debut in Italian opera in New York City, 24th November, 1859, in "Lucia." Her success was instantaneous and unparalleled. She sang in other standard rôles and at once went to the front as a star. She sang first in London, Eng., in "La Sonnambula," 14th May, 1861, and she carried the city by storm. She made her first appearance in Paris 16th November, 1862, and during the next two years she sang in Holland, Belgium, Austria and Prussia, winning everywhere a most unprecedented series of triumphs. After 1864 she sang in the Italiens in Paris, and went to London, Baden, Brussels and St. Petersburg. In St. Petersburg, in 1870, the Czar bestowed upon her the Order of Merit and the title of "First Singer of the Court." She sang in Rome and returned to Paris in 1874. From 1861 to 1880 she sang every season in the Covent Garden Concerts in London, in the Handel festivals, and in concert-tours through the British provinces. In 1881 and 1882 she sang in concerts in the United States. She sang in opera in this country in the seasons of 1882-83, of 1884-85, and of 1886-87. In December, 1887. she started on an extensive tour of the United States, Mexico and South America. Her career has been one of unbroken successes. Her earnings have amounted to millions. She was married 29th July, 1868, to Marquis de Caux, a French nobleman. The wedding took place in London, Eng. The marriage proved uncongenial, and she separated from her husband. In 1885 she obtained a divorce from him, and in 1886 she was married to Ernesto Nicolini, an Italian tenor-singer. Her second union has been an ideal one. She has a tine estate, called "Craig-y-N'os," in the Swansea valley, Wales, where she lives in regal fashion. She has there a private theater, costing $30,000, in which she entertains her visitors. In person Madame Patti-Nicolini is rather small. She as dark eyes and black hair, and a very mobile face. She has never been a great actor, but all other deficiencies were lost in the peerless art of her singing. Her voice is a soprano, formerly of a wide range, but now showing wear in the upper ranges. She has a faultless ear for music and is said never to have sung a false note. On the stage she is arch and winning, and even now she sings with consummate art. Her repertory includes about one-hundred operas.