Patti, ca. 1854
Patti first sang at Covent Garden, London, in 1861. From then on, her international career was assured. As a bel canto coloratura soprano she had no rival. Giuseppe Verdi thought she was the greatest singer he had ever heard. Wherever she sang, the public adored her, and she made a fortune.
Patti as "Lucie De Lammemoor"
Stunning "Simon and Halbig" Adelina Patti with pierce ears, beautiful velvet and antique lace gown. Doll is wearing antique earrings and necklace.
After her first marriage to the Marquis of Caux failed, Adelina Patti took a lover, French tenor Ernest Nicolini, who she later married. In search of privacy, and good trout-fishing for Nicolini, she bought a Welsh country house overlooking the River Tawe near Penwyllt, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons. She named the plain, four-square house Craig-y-Nos: the Rock of Night.
The death of Nicholini brought great change in the life of Patti and her castle. She was 56 years old and was soon to meet Baron Rolf Cederstrom, a Swedish nobleman 26 years her junior. They were married in the Catholic Church at Brecon on the 25th January 1899 and returned to Craig-y-nos. It is said that these were the most fulfilling years of her life. They were married until her death in 1919.
The Patti Theatre was dedicated in August 1891. It is still very much in use today. With blue silk plush curtains, her monogram in gold over the proscenium arch, and an act-drop curtain showing Patti in a chariot as Semiramide, it was designed as a shrine to the diva.
When Adelina Patti held court at Craig-y-Nos, the theatre was the centre of events. She performed there privately long after her official retirement. Guests and servants would assemble to see her sing her great roles. Her butler - who couldn't sing - would mime the male roles.
Although the famous greenhouse was moved to Swansea and renamed the Patti Pavilion, Craig-y-Nos, her fantasy castle, still has its gardens and theatre.