Geraldine Farrar was an American soprano opera singer and film actress

Geraldine Farrar was an American soprano opera singer and film actress, noted for her beauty, acting ability, and "the intimate timbre of her voice." She had a large following among young women, who were nicknamed "Gerry-flappers". Farrar had a seven-year love affair with the Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini. Her ultimatum, that he leave his wife and children and marry her, resulted in Toscanini's abrupt resignation as principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in 1915. Farrar was close friends with the star tenor Enrico Caruso and there has been speculation that they too had a love affair, but no substantial evidence of this has surfaced. It is said that Caruso coined her motto: Farrar fara ("Farrar will do it"). Her marriage to cinema actor Lou Tellegen on February 8, 1916 was the source of considerable scandal. The marriage ended, as a result of her husband's numerous affairs, in a very public divorce in 1923. The circumstances of the divorce were brought again to public recollection by Tellegen's bizarre 1934 suicide in Hollywood. Farrar reportedly said "Why should that interest me?" when told of Tellegen's death. Farrar retired from opera in 1922 at the age of 40. Her final performance was as Leoncavallo's Zazà. By this stage, her voice was in premature decline due to overwork. According to the American music critic Henry Pleasants, the author of The Great Singers from the Dawn of Opera to Our Own Time (first published 1967), she gave between 25 and 35 performances each season at the Met alone. They included 95 appearances as Madama Butterfly and 58 as Carmen in 16 seasons. The title role in Puccini's Tosca, which she had added to her repertoire in 1909, was another one of her favourite Met parts. The headstone of Geraldine Farrar Farrar continued to give recitals until 1931 and was briefly the intermission commentator for radio broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera 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, with Mrs. Farrar rather floridly recounting her daughter's many accomplishments. Farrar died in Ridgefield, Connecticut of a heart attack in 1967, aged 85, and was buried in Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. She had no children.

Fimography for actress and singer Geraldine Farrar

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