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Geraldine Farrar


Geraldine Farrar
(1882-1967)

(1882-1967)

An American soprano, Geraldine was born in Melrose, MA. She studied voice in Boston, NY, Paris, and finally Berlin where her impressive debut as Marguerite in Faust made her the toast of the city when she was barely 20. There began a long career where her looks and stage presence, a bit more than her voice, earned her a huge, devoted and almost fanatical following of “Gerry-flappers”. She first appeared in the NY Metropolitan Opera in 1906 and remained in the company until her retirement in 1922.

She recorded extensively for the Victor Talking Machine Company and went on to appear in more than a dozen silent movies from 1915-1920 including Cecil B. De Mille's 1915 Carmen. Even after her official retirement she gave recitals until 1931 and was briefly a commentator for the Met's radio broadcasts.

Her off-stage life was legendary too. No man seemed to be able to resist her including the Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany, Enrico Caruso or conductor Toscanini. Her 7-year marriage to silent screen heartthrob Lou Tellegen created considerable scandals finally ending in a very public divorce in 1923. She spent her later years enjoying the status of “living legend” in musical circles. She died in Ridgefield of a heart attack in 1967 at the age of 85. She is buried in Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, NY.

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