Geraldine Farrar

Opera’s Charismatic Innovator, 2d ed.


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SKU: 9780786470679 Categories: , , , ,

About the Book

From 1906 until 1922, Geraldine Farrar was the Metropolitan Opera’s most popular and glamorous prima donna. Convinced that music must always serve the drama, she often sacrificed tonal beauty to dramatic effect, and her acting was noted for its intensity and realism. Nevertheless, Farrar was a superb singer, possessing a beautiful lyric soprano voice. Farrar was also a star of the silent screen, appearing in 14 films from 1915 to 1920. In retirement, she was mentor and friend to the African American soprano Camilla Williams, enabling Williams to become the first African American to have a regular contract with a major American opera company. This biography and critical analysis of Farrar’s career provides a detailed account of her major contributions to the history of opera.

About the Author(s)

Elizabeth Nash is an associate professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. She lives in Edina Minnesota.

Bibliographic Details

Elizabeth Nash
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 194
Bibliographic Info: 22 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7067-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9284-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

Introduction      5


The Early Years, 1882–1906      11


At the Metropolitan Opera, 1906 –1908      34


At the Metropolitan Opera, 1908–1915      57


Hollywood, 1915–1920      90


At the Metropolitan Opera, 1916–1922      110


The Transition Years, 1922–1935      129


Retirement, 1935–1967      131

Appendix 1: Theory and Practice      135

Appendix 2: “The Art of Acting in the Movies Requires a Technique
Unlike That of the Operatic Stage,” by Geraldine Farrar

Appendix 3: Conversations on Geraldine Farrar with Camilla Williams, 1995–2011      150

Appendix 4: Operatic Roles      155

Appendix 5: Silent Films      157

Appendix 6: Select Discography      160

Appendix 7: Select Radio Broadcasts      162

Chapter Notes      163

Select Bibliography      179

Index      183

Book Reviews & Awards

“excellent biography and analysis…descriptions of Farrar’s stage performances are so vividly related you feel as if you are there on stage with her…pretty impressive especially when talking about something that happened in the early 1900s…the research is impeccable and richly detailed, the writing first-rate…the balance between the life and the art is well-done”—Classic Images; “a major addition to the literature about singers of the past”—The Record Collector; “an affectionate and respectful profile”—ARSC Journal.