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Portrait of Adelina Patti.
Bayswater, ca. 1860. Original photograph, carte de visite, albumen print, 10 x 6 cm. Adelina Patti (10 February 1843 - 27 September 1919) was an Italian-French 19th-century opera singer, earning huge fees at the height of her career in the music capitals of Europe and America. She first sang in public as a child in 1851, and gave her last performance before an audience in 1914. Along with her near contemporaries Jenny Lind and Thérèse Tietjens, Patti remains one of the most famous sopranos in history, owing to the purity and beauty of her lyrical voice and the unmatched quality of her bel canto technique. The composer Giuseppe Verdi, writing in 1877, described her as being perhaps the finest singer who had ever lived and a "stupendous artist". Verdi's admiration for Patti's talent was shared by numerous music critics and social commentators of her era. She was born Adelina Juana Maria Patti,[3] in Madrid, the last child of tenor Salvatore Patti (1800-1869) and soprano Caterina Barilli (died 1870). Her Italian parents were working in Madrid, Spain, at the time of her birth. Because her father came from Sicily, Patti was born a subject of the King of the Two Sicilies. She later carried a French passport, as her first two husbands were French. Her sisters Amalia and Carlotta Patti were also singers. Her brother Carlo Patti was a violinist who married actress Effie Germon. In her childhood, the family moved to New York City. Patti grew up in the Wakefield section of the Bronx, where her family's home is still standing. Patti sang professionally from childhood, and developed into a coloratura soprano with perfectly equalized vocal registers and a surprisingly warm, satiny tone. Patti learned how to sing and gained understanding of voice technique from her brother-in-law Maurice Strakosch, who was a musician and impresario. Patti is thought by some to have had a dalliance with the tenor Mario, who is said to have bragged at Patti's first wedding that he had already "made love to her many times". Engaged as a minor to Henri de Lossy, Baron of Ville, Patti wed three times: first, in 1868, to Henri de Roger de Cahusac, Marquess of Caux (1826-1889). The marriage soon collapsed; both had affairs and de Caux was granted a legal separation in 1877 and divorced in 1885. The union was dissolved with bitterness and cost her half her fortune. She then lived with the French tenor Ernesto Nicolini for many years until, following her divorce from Caux, she was able to marry him in 1886. That marriage lasted until his death and was seemingly happy, but Nicolini cut Patti out of his will, suggesting some tension in the last years. Patti's last marriage, in 1899, was to Baron Rolf Cederström (1870-1947), a priggish, but handsome, Swedish aristocrat many years her junior. The Baron severely curtailed Patti's social life. He cut down her domestic staff from 40 to 18, but gave her the devotion and flattery that she needed, becoming her sole legatee. After her death, he married a much younger woman. Their only daughter, Brita Yvonne Cederström (born 1924), ended up as Patti's sole heir. Patti had no children, but was close to her nieces and nephews. The two-time Tony Award-winning Broadway actress and singer Patti LuPone is a great-grand niece and namesake. Drummer Scott Devours is her 3rd great nephew. The Welsh opera singer Lisa Lee Dark is her 4th great-grand niece through her marriage to the French tenor Ernesto Nicolini. Miss Patti developed a love for billiards and became a reputable player, making guest appearances at many major billiard events for exhibition matches and fancy shot displays. In her retirement, Patti, now officially Baroness Cederström, settled in the Swansea Valley in south Wales, where she purchased Craig-y-Nos Castle. There she had a $2000 billiard table installed, and her own private theatre, a miniature version of the one at Bayreuth, and made her gramophone recordings. Patti also funded the substantial station building at Craig y Nos/Penwyllt on the Neath and Brecon Railway. In 1918, she presented the Winter Garden building from her Craig-y-Nos estate to the city of Swansea. It was re-erected and renamed the Patti Pavilion. She died at Craig-y-Nos and eight months later was buried at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris to be close to her Father and favourite composer Rossini in accordance with the wishes in her will. Adelina Patti had a warm, crystalline, and very agile high soprano voice. Her vocal emission was of perfect equality and her vocal range was wide, from low C to high F (C4 - F6). Regarding her technique, critic Rodolfo Celletti said, "Her voice was a technical marvel. The staccatos were marvels of accuracy, even in the trickiest intervals, her legato was impressively smooth and pure; she connects the voice from note to note, phrase to phrase, lifting and gliding with an exceptional virtuosity. Her chromatic scale was deliciously sweet, and her trill was wonderful and solid." (Wikipedia). KEYWORDS:photo/france/paris/italy.
      [Bookseller: Krul Antiquarian Books]
Last Found On: 2017-10-10           Check availability:      NVvA    

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