Craig-y-Nos Castle and grounds were once the estate of the celebrated opera diva Adelina Patti who during her lifetime ( 1843-1919 ) became one of the worlds most famous and highly rewarded entertainers.
Madame Patti was a remarkably talented woman who gained singing fame as a child and built on it throughout her life to become a legend in her own time. She was an accomplished actress, a shrewd business woman, and a master of publicity and social graces. Her contacts were impeccable and she moved in the highest echelons of Victorian society, not only in Europe but on the World stage.
Her supreme talent however derived from the quality of her voice and the "vocal gymnastics" which she was able to perform, apparently without effort.
Before the time of microphones, amplifiers and recording equipment Adelina Patti was filling huge theatres with her rich voice and even the people in the poorest seats at the back of the hall were never disappointed. Not only would she maintain her performance for hours at a time, but she would often give two shows in one evening, with only an hour's rest between them. On her tours she would keep up an incredible work rate for a period of several months.
In between tours Craig-y-Nos Castle was where she would re-charge her energies and entertain her many friends.
Today Adelina Patti is something of an enigma. The second most celebrated woman in the world in the year 1900, after Queen Victoria, is today almost forgotten. Unless of course you are an opera lover.
The reason for this apparent anomaly is very simple. Her fame was in her voice, and only towards the end of her life could it be recorded for posterity. The quality of recording at that time, and her ageing years, could not however do her justice.
Unlike today's artists, Adelina Patti's fame was achieved and spread by personal appearances, not by radio, television, records or CDs, and all those who witnessed her undoubted talent are now long deceased. We can however read some of their accounts and testaments and we can experience something of her personality and lifestyle by visiting her lovely former home at Craig-y-Nos Castle in Wales.
From those beginnings the Castle was built, and a Theatre was added. The Castle went through the hands of being a Hospital to a where it is now a wonderful venue for Weddings, Conferences and Accommodation.
You can find out more about Adelina Patti, and her life and the History about Craig Y Nos Castle on the following page.
The Adelina Patti Theatre at Craig Y Nos Castle is a participant in Visit Theatre, a guide to theatres’ tours in Great Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium with information on tours and theatre buildings’ history and architecture. Visit Theatres is part of the European Route of Historic Theatres project supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union. For further details please see: www.visittheatres.org.