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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Carlotta Patti

PATTI, Carlotta, singer, born in Florence, Italy, in 1840. She is the daughter of Salvatore Patti, Sicilian and a tenor-singer on the operatic stage, who made his first appearance in this country, 4 October, 1848, in Philadelphia, and died in Paris, 30 August, 1859. Her mother, whose stage name, Signora Barilli, was that of her first husband, was a native of Rome and a singer of some repute. Carlotta was educated as a pianist under Henri Herz, but soon gave up the piano in order to cultivate her voice. She made her first public appearance in New York city in 1861 at a concert, and the following year sang in opera. A slight lameness interfering with her success on the lyric stage, and the civil war disarranging her plans, she went abroad and first sang in England, 16 April, 1863. After giving more than fifty concerts in London, she was invited to appear before the queen. "Never in my life," said the latter, after hearing her, "has any singer so charmed and pleased me." During the next six years she gave hundreds of concerts in all parts of the continent with unvarying success. Her voice is one of the highest sopranos known, stretching from C below the clef to G sharp in alt, considerably over two octaves. She returned to New York in 1869, and has since appeared frequently on both sides of the Atlantic. Although confining herself almost entirely to the concert stage, she has occasionally appeared in opera, singing, among other roles, that of the Queen of Night in Mozart's "Magic Flute," the music of which is the despair of ordinary singers. On 3 September, 1879, she married Ernst de Munck, of Weimar.--Her brother, Carlo, violinist, born in Madrid, Spain, in 1842; died in Cincinnati, Ohio, 17 March, 1873, was taken to the United States with his sisters in 1843, and as a child was taught the violin. In 1862 he became the leader of the orchestra at the New Orleans opera-house, and was afterward similarly employed in New York, St. Louis, and Cincinnati.--Her sister, Adelina (ADELEA JUANA MARIA CLORINDA), singer, born in Madrid, Spain, 19 February, 1843, early showing signs of great musical ability, was taught the rudiments of her art by her step-brother, Barilli, and her brother-in-law, Maurice Strakosch. She could sing almost before she could speak, and at four years of age she had caught many of the principal airs of popular operas, which she sang correctly. When only seven years old she made her first appearance in public, at a concert in Tripler hall, New York, singing " Casta diva" and " Una vote." She then made a tour of the British provinces with Strakosch and Ole Bull, singing the principal songs and arias of Jenny Lind, Sontag, and other artists. In 1854 she again appeared in New York city, and then accompanied Gottschalk, the pianist, to the West Indies. She earned enough by this means to enable her parents to withdraw her from the stage, in order that her musical education might be completed. She did not sing again in public until she made her first appearance in Italian opera, on 24 November, 1859, at the Academy of music, New York, in Lucia. Her success in this and other parts was immediate. On 14 May, 1861, she made her first appearance in London in "La Sonnambula," and she at once became a favorite in that city by her beauty, grace, and artistic skill. She sang in the autumn of 1861 at the Birmingham festival, and made her first appearance in Paris, 16 November, 1862, afterward visiting Holland, Belgium, Austria and Prussia. After 1864 she was attached to the Italiens at Paris, but made visits to London, Baden, Brussels, and St. Petersburg. In the last-named city, in 1870, the emperor bestowed upon her the Order of Merit and the title of "First Singer of the Court." She sang Aida in the Apollo theatre at Rome, and returned to Paris in 1874. From 1861 till 1880 she appeared every season at the Covent Garden concerts in London, besides making frequent tours in the British provinces, and appearing at the Handel festivals of 1865, 1877, and 1880. In 1881 she entered into an engagement with a New York manager to sing in the United States in a series of concerts during the season of 1881-'2. She subsequently appeared in opera in this country in 1882-'3, 1884-'5, and 1886-'7. In December, 1887, she began an extensive tour which was to include South America, Mexico, and the United States. Besides a voice of exceptional beauty, range, and flexibility, she possesses rare talents as an actress. Though too small of stature adequately to personate the leading characters in grand opera, her preeminence is indisputable in parts that require pathos and sentiment, or archness and coquetry. On 29 July, 1868, she married in London the Marquis de Caux, a French nobleman ; but she was divorced from him in 1885, and in 1886 she married Ernesto Nicolini, an Italian tenor-singer.

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