Visetti, Alberto Antonio

BORN 13 May 1846, Salona, Dalmatia - DIED 9 Jul 1928, London
GRAVE LOCATION Woking, Surrey: Brookwood Cemetery (Plot 123)

Alberto Antonio Visetti was the son of an Italian landowner and an English mother. His father sent him to Padua to study surgery, but the sight of dissecting affected him and he turned his attention to music.

He studied at the conservatory of Milan, where Arrigo Boito was a fellow student and a friend. Boito wrote the libretto for his "Cantico des Cantici". Alberto Mazzucato was his teacher and he won several awards. In Milan he met Verdi.

He worked as a conductor at Nice and then moved to Paris, where he was assistant to Daniel Auber, who introduced him at the court of Napoleon III. His opera "Les Trois Mousquetaires" had a libretto by Dumas Père. It was produced but the manuscript was lost during the Siege of Paris.

In May 1871 he moved to England where he became a professor at the Royal College of Music. He became an English citizen in 1884. For five years he was musical advisor to the famous singer Adelina Patti and he wrote the song "La Diva" for her. When he married Mary Jane Sagar (born Diehl) in 1889 he became stepfather to Radclyffe Hall, who later made herself a name as a novelist.

His marriage was difficult because Visetti conducted affairs with many of his female students. Among his students were Agnes Nicholls (1877-1959, who seduced the young Radclyffe Hall), Louise Kirkby-Lunn (1873-1930), Clara Butt (1872-1936) and Edmund Burke (1876-1970).

• Wife: Visetti, Mary Jane

Related persons
• was a friend of Boito, Arrigo
• is stepfather/stepmother of Hall, Radclyffe
• was adviser of Patti, Adelina, Baroness Cederström
• knew Verdi, Giuseppe


The grave of Alberto Visetti at Brookwood Cemetery, Woking.
Picture by Androom (25 Jun 2009)


• Clarke, John M., London's Necropolis, A Guide to Brookwood Cemetery, Sutton Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2004
Albert Visetti - Wikipedia

Visetti, Mary Jane

Published: 12 Jul 2009
Last update: 2 Mar 2019