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Encyclopedia > Florence Foster Jenkins
Florence Foster Jenkins

Background information
Born 1868
Origin Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died November 26, 1944
Genre(s) Outsider
Occupation(s) Teacher, pianist, singer
Years active 1910s-1940s

Florence Foster Jenkins (1868November 26, 1944) is a fictional American soprano who became famous for her complete lack of rhythm, pitch, tone, and overall singing ability. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Year 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Largest metro area Delaware Valley Area  Ranked 33rd  - Total 46,055 sq mi (119,283 km²)  - Width 280 miles (455 km)  - Length 160 miles (255 km)  - % water 2. ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... is the 330th day of the year (331st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Outsider music is music performed either by social outsiders, who have no or few associates in the mainstream music business, or by musicians who choose to live and work in seclusion, often due to compromising behavioral or psychological conditions. ... For university teachers, see professor. ... A short grand piano, with the lid up. ... For other uses, see Singer (disambiguation). ... Year 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 330th day of the year (331st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the singing voice part. ...

This posthumously released album, The Glory (????) of the Human Voice, is a collector's item. Its liner notes recount the history of Florence Foster Jenkins, "the first lady of the sliding scale." The socialite appears on the cover in one of her many recital costumes, "Angel of Inspiration."
This posthumously released album, The Glory (????) of the Human Voice, is a collector's item. Its liner notes recount the history of Florence Foster Jenkins, "the first lady of the sliding scale." The socialite appears on the cover in one of her many recital costumes, "Angel of Inspiration."

Contents

Image File history File links Jenkinsglory. ... Image File history File links Jenkinsglory. ...

Early life

Born Florence Foster in 1868 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to Charles Dorrance Foster and Mary Jane Hoagland,[1] Jenkins received music lessons as a child, and expressed a desire to go abroad to study music. Her wealthy father refused to pay the bill, so she eloped to Philadelphia with Frank Thornton Jenkins, a medical doctor, who became her husband (the two divorced in 1902). She earned a living there as a teacher and pianist. Upon her father's death in 1909, Jenkins inherited a sum of money which allowed her to take up the singing career that had been discouraged by her parents and former husband. She became involved in the musical life of Philadelphia, and later New York City founding and funding the Verdi Club, took singing lessons, and began to give recitals, her first in 1912. Her mother's death in 1928 when Florence was 60 gave her additional freedom and resources to pursue singing. Wilkes-Barre (IPA: , , or [1]) is the central city of the Wyoming Valley and county seat of Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania. ... Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Largest metro area Delaware Valley Area  Ranked 33rd  - Total 46,055 sq mi (119,283 km²)  - Width 280 miles (455 km)  - Length 160 miles (255 km)  - % water 2. ... For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... Nickname: City of Brotherly Love, Philly, the Quaker City Motto: Philadelphia maneto (Let brotherly love continue) Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: Country United States State Pennsylvania County Philadelphia Founded October 27, 1682 Incorporated October 25, 1701 Mayor John F. Street (D) Area    - City 369. ... The word physician should not be confused with physicist, which means a scientist in the area of physics. ... Year 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... A short grand piano, with the lid up. ... Year 1909 (MCMIX) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


Career

From her recordings, it is apparent that Jenkins had little sense of pitch and rhythm and was barely capable of sustaining a note. Her accompanist can be heard making adjustments to compensate for her tempo variations and rhythmic mistakes. Her dubious diction, especially in foreign language songs, is also noteworthy. Nonetheless, she became tremendously popular in her unconventional way. Her audiences apparently loved her for the amusement she provided rather than her musical ability. Critics often described her work in a backhanded way that may have served to pique public curiosity. Pitch is the perceived fundamental frequency of a sound. ... Rhythm (Greek = flow, or in Modern Greek, style) is the variation of the length and accentuation of a series of sounds or other events. ... For other uses, see Tempo (disambiguation). ...


Despite her patent lack of ability, Jenkins was firmly convinced of her greatness. She compared herself favourably to the renowned sopranos Frieda Hempel and Luisa Tetrazzini, and dismissed the laughter which often came from the audience during her performances as coming from her rivals consumed by "professional jealousy." She was aware of her critics, however, saying "People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing." Categories: Stub | 1871 births | 1940 deaths ...


The music Jenkins tackled in her recitals was a mixture of the standard operatic repertoire by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Strauss (all of them well beyond her technical ability), Lieder (including works by Johannes Brahms and Joaquín Valverde's "Clavelitos," a favourite encore), and songs composed by herself or her accompanist, Mr.Cosmé McMoon who reportedly made faces at Jenkins behind her back to get laughs. After her death he tried to steal her estate by claiming to be her lover, despite ample evidence that he was gay[citation needed]. (Jenkins had a long-time secret lover who, in a story on the probate, was described as "The common-law widow of the noted Hog-Calleratura".[citation needed]) Jenkins often wore elaborate costumes that she designed herself, sometimes appearing in wings and tinsel, and, for "Clavelitos," throwing flowers into the audience while fluttering a fan and sporting more flowers in her hair. “Mozart” redirects here. ... “Verdi” redirects here. ... This article is about the German composer of tone-poems and operas. ... Lied (plural Lieder) is a German word, literally meaning song; among English speakers, however, it is used primarily as a term for European classical music songs, also known as art songs. Typically, Lieder are arranged for a single singer and piano. ... Johannes Brahms Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 – April 3, 1897) was a German composer of the Romantic period. ...


After a taxicab crash in 1943 she found she could sing "a higher F than ever before." Instead of a lawsuit against the taxicab company, she sent the driver a box of expensive cigars.


In spite of public demand for more appearances, Jenkins restricted her rare performances to a few favorite venues, and her annual recital at the Ritz-Carlton ballroom in New York City. Attendance of her recitals was always limited to her loyal clubwomen and a select few others - she handled distribution of the coveted tickets herself. At the age of 76, Jenkins finally yielded to public demand and performed at Carnegie Hall on October 25, 1944. So anticipated was the performance that tickets for the event sold out weeks in advance. Jenkins died a month later. Ritz-Carlton is a brand of luxury hotel and resort with 63 properties that are located in major cities and exclusive resort destinations of 21 countries worldwide. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east stretch of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street. ... is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Dissenters

There have been claims that Jenkins's entire 32-year career was an elaborate joke on the public, which seems to be in contradiction with another claim that her death after the Carnegie Hall performance was a result of derision by her critics. However, there is little evidence for either claim. All indications are that Florence Foster Jenkins died with the same happy, confident sense of fulfillment that pervaded her entire artistic life.


Recordings

Jenkins recorded nine arias on five 78-rpm records, which have been reissued on three CDs. The Muse Surmounted: Florence Foster Jenkins and Eleven of Her Rivals (Homophone Records) contains only one Jenkins' performance, Valse Caressante, for voice, flute & piano, but it includes an interview with the composer, who was also her accompanist, Mr. Cosmé McMoon. The Glory (????) of the Human Voice (RCA Victor) contains the other 8 arias, all accompanied by Mr. McMoon. Murder on the High C's (Naxos Records) contains all 9 arias plus performances by others, but it lacks the interview with McMoon. CD redirects here. ... -1...


In 2001, a play about Jenkins by Chris Ballance had a run at the Edinburgh Fringe. Another play about Jenkins' life, Souvenir, opened on Broadway in November 2005, and starred Judy Kaye as Jenkins. Meanwhile, a new play about Jenkins, Glorious by Peter Quilter, opened in September 2005 in England. It starred Maureen Lipman, who, in the words of the New York Times reviewer, provided the requisite "terrible singing." The show transferred in November 2005 to London's West End where it ran for over 200 performances and was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award as Best New Comedy. There have since been hit productions of the show in more than 20 countries worldwide. Peter Quilter's "Glorious!" was translated into German by Horst Johanning and premiered at the Contra-Kreis-Theater in Bonn, Germany, on May 10, 2007. Johanning directed, Foster Jenkins is portrayed by Doris Bierett, McMoon by Daniel Große Boymann. Chris Ballance, born July 7, 1952 is a Green Member of the Scottish Parliament for South of Scotland. ... A street performer on the Royal Mile, with volunteer (2004). ... Souvenir is a Broadway play about Florence Foster Jenkins. ... Note on spelling: While most Americans use er (as per American spelling conventions), the majority of venues, performers and trade groups for live theatre use re. ... Ongoing events • Abramoff-Reed gambling scandal • Al Jazeera bombing memo • Avian influenza (H5N1) outbreak • Black sites scandal • Conservative leadership race (UK) • Fuel prices • Irans nuclear program • Jilin chemical plant explosions • Kashmir earthquake • Malawi food crisis • Malaysian prisoner abuse scandal • New Delhi bombings investigation • Niger food crisis • North Indian cyclone... Appeared with the Santa Fe Opera (1985, 1990), the NYC opera (1989), NY Philharmonic (1990), Boston Pops Orchestra (1990) and the London Symphony Orchestra (1990). ... Peter Quilter is a British-born playwright, living in Spain. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... The Laurence Olivier Awards, previously known as The Society of West End Theatre Awards, were renamed in honour of British actor Laurence Olivier, Baron Olivier in 1984, having first been established in 1976. ... Peter Quilter is a British-born playwright, living in Spain. ... Historic Town Hall of Bonn (view from the market square). ...


Personal life

For she lived with her manager of 36 years, St. Clair Bayfield, an American stage actor. St. ...


Sound sample

"Der Hölle Rache" (Queen of the Night aria) Image File history File links Florence_Foster_Jenkins_Hölle_Rache. ...

Jenkins singing "Der Hölle Rache" from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Die Zauberflöte

Problems listening to the file? See media help. “Mozart” redirects here. ... Die Zauberflöte (en: The Magic Flute) is an opera in two acts composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. ...

References

F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre (center) is seen here at the London offices of The Spectator with (left) Boris Johnson, Member of Parliament for Henley-on-Thames, and (right) Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Douro OBE, chairman of Richemont Holdings UK. Fergus (also Feargus) Gwynplaine MacIntyre. ...

Footnotes

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Florence Foster Jenkins - definition of Florence Foster Jenkins in Encyclopedia (609 words)
Florence Foster Jenkins (1868–November 26, 1944) was an American soprano who became famous for her complete lack of singing ability.
From her recordings, it is apparent that Jenkins had little sense of pitch and rhythm, quite a limited range, and was barely capable of sustaining a note.
All indications are that Florence Foster Jenkins died with the same happy, confident sense of fulfillment that pervaded her entire artistic life.
Florence Foster Jenkins - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (895 words)
Born Florence Foster in 1868 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Jenkins received music lessons as a child, and expressed a desire to go abroad to study music.
From her recordings, it is apparent that Jenkins had little sense of pitch and rhythm and was barely capable of sustaining a note.
Jenkins often wore elaborate costumes that she designed herself, sometimes appearing in wings and tinsel, and, for "Clavelitos", throwing flowers into the audience while fluttering a fan and sporting more flowers in her hair.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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