GERALDINE FARRAR AUTOGRAPH
Geraldine Farrar was born February 28, 1882 – died March 11, 1967. Farrar was an opera singer and film actress whose stage presence earned her a fanatic following of Gerryflappers in the early 20th century. Farrar was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, the daughter of Sidney Farrar and his wife Henrietta Barnes. She studied voice in Boston, New York, Paris, and in Berlin with famed soprano Lilli Lehmann as was recommended to her by Lillian Nordica, creating a sensation in that city with her debut as Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust in 1901, and appearing in the title rôles of Mignon and Manon, and as Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. Among her fans in Berlin was Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany, with whom she is believed to have conducted an affair beginning in 1903. After appearing at Monte Carlo she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in Romeo et Juliette in 1906. She appeared in the first Met performance of Madama Butterfly in 1907, and remained a member of the Metropolitan Opera until her retirement, singing 29 roles in nearly 500 performances there. She developed a great popular following, especially amongst New York’s young female opera-goers, who were known as ‘Gerry-flappers’. Farrar created the title roles in Mascagni’s Amica (Monte-Carlo, 1905), Puccini’s Suor Angelica (New York, 1918), and Giordano’s Madame Sans-Gêne (New York, 1915) as well as the Goosegirl in Humperdinck’s Die Königskinder (New York 1910) Farrar was, in best opera diva style, noted for her temperamental and fiercely independent nature. She recorded extensively for the Victor Talking Machine Company and was often featured prominently in that record company’s ads (an example can be seen at 1914 in music). She also appeared in silent movies, filmed in between Opera seasons. Farrar starred in over a dozen films from 1915 to 1920, including Cecil B. DeMille’s adaptation of Carmen. Perhaps her most notable screen role was as Joan of Arc in the 1917 film Joan the Woman. Farrar retired from opera in 1922 at the age of forty. Her final performance was as Leoncavallo’s Zaza. She appeared in recitals until 1931, and was briefly the commentator for the radio broadcasts at the Met during the 1934-35 season. Her autobiography, Such Sweet Compulsion, published in 1938, was written in alternating chapters purporting to be her own words and those of her mother, her mother rather floridly recounting Geraldine’s accomplishments. She died in Ridgefield, Connecticut of a heart attack in 1967 aged 85, and was buried in Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.
Original Geraldine Farrar Autograph, signed on a Return Label. Label has been clipped and mounted on a larger piece of paper. On Label: IF NOT DELIVERED IN FIVE DAYS NOTIFY G. Farrar Ridgefield, Conn. Approx. size of label 1 2/8 x 3 1/8 inches. Regular Price – $ 135.00 / Sale Price – $ 48.95.
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