Adelina Patti: The Italian Bel Canto Soprano who was in a league of her own

Oct 17, 2023 219

The life of Adelina Patti could almost be the plot of an opera in itself. A child star from a musical family almost literally born on an opera stage, she rocketed to celebrity with her earliest performances to earn a fame that spanned continents and made her an extraordinary fortune. Thrice married, her personal life was tinged with scandal before she retired to a castle that could have come straight from a production of Wagner.

Patti’s was a celebrity almost unprecedented in the 19th century, something even more remarkable when at her pre-radio, pre-gramophone peak, the only opportunities to see and hear her perform were in the opera houses. Whenever she was in Europe, American newspapers chronicled her every move. When she was in the US, European periodicals printed updates almost daily. 

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