"Madame Adelina Patti"

Name of traveller

Wilhelm Ganz (1833-1914)

Reason for travel

  • friendship with Adelina Patti

Date of travel

repeated visits since the 1880s

The Albert Hall at Swansea was crowded to suffocation. [Adelina Patti] sang several of her favourite songs, and ended with the ever popular "Home, Sweet Home," which made many of the audience shed tears. (Ganz 198)


  • architecture:
    • overview of the rooms of Craig-y-Nos Castle and their respective functions; mention of a small theatre and a winter garden with an electric fountain
    • general description of the Craig-y-Nos estate with hot houses and artificial lakes
  • art:
    • contains a photo of Adelina Patti (1843-1919) and a caricature of her and Ganz from the Puck magazine
    • Ganz assists Patti in organising the first of a series of annual charity concerts for Swansea Hospital at the Albert Hall in Swansea
    • brief sketch of the first successful charity concert at the Albert Hall in front of a full house
    • conducts at each of the charity concerts as they are rotated between Swansea, Brecon and Neath
    • mention of Patti's constant refusal to sing soprano parts in operas by Richard Wagner (1813-1883) for fear of damaging her voice
  • clothing: description of the fashionable clothes and jewellery owned by Patti
  • customs:
    • description of a lavishly decorated Swansea in praise of Patti on the occassion of her charity concert
    • customary musical entertainment for invited guests at Craig-y-Nos Castle
    • mentions Patti's charitable donations of coal, blankets and clothes during winter times to local people
  • people:
    • chronicles friendship and occassional musical collaboration with the Italo-American soprano Patti and describes her personality, muscial accomplishments and proficiency in seven languages
    • crowds of miners and their families cheering Patti on her way to and around Swansea
    • mention of Patti's third husband, the Swedish Baron Rolf Cederström (1870-1947)
    • attends the Patti-Cederström wedding together with his wife, Elizabeth, and their daughters, Georgina and Adelina
    • servants working on Patti's estate are of Welsh, English, German and Italian extraction
  • terrain: beautiful surroundings at Craig-y-Nos Castle
  • transport:
    • travels by train
    • description of the privately hired Patti-Cederström wedding train from Brecon to London
  • click here to read the full account

Nationality of traveller


Language of publication


Gender of traveller


Type of publication



Ganz, Wilhelm. "Madame Adelina Patti." Memories of a Musician: Reminiscences of Seventy Years of Musical Life. London: John Murray, 1913. 196-213. Print.