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Definition: Farrar, Geraldine from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(fӘrär'), 1882–1967, American operatic soprano, b. Melrose, Mass.; pupil of Lilli Lehmann. She made her debut in Europe (1901) and sang at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, from 1906 to 1922. Her most famous roles were in La Bohème, Madame Butterfly, and Carmen.

  • See her autobiography, Such Sweet Compulsion (1938).

Summary Article: Farrar, Geraldine (1882 Melrose, MA-1967 Springfield, CT)
from Encyclopedic Dictionary of Women in Early American Films: 1895-1930, An

Geraldine Farrar was one of the most famous women of her time and arguably the finest operatic talent of the early 1900s. She was amazingly popular with the public, even non-opera buffs, and had a legion of fans known as “Gerry-flappers.”

Her talent was recognized while she was still quite young, and she studied in Boston and New York as well as Paris and Berlin. She made her debut in 1901 in Berlin as Marguerite in Faust. After several years of success in Europe, she made her U.S. debut at The Metropolitan Opera House in New York in 1906 as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.

When World War I made it impossible for her to tour Europe, Farrar accepted an offer to appear in a series of films for Jesse Lasky and directed by Cecile B. DeMille. Her collaborations with DeMille were successful and resulted in several well-done films, most memorably Carmen (1915) and Joan the Woman (1916).

Unfortunately, about this time Farrar married an egotistical, no-talent actor who eventually rained her film career, from either incredibly poor judgment or outright jealousy, and then divorced her when her money ran out. She retired from films in 1920 and wrote her autobiography, Such Sweet Compulsion, in 1938.

Film Credits
1915 Carmen; Temptation
1916 Maria Rosa
1917 The Woman God Forgot; The Devil-Stone; Joan the Woman
1918 The Turn of the Wheel; The Hell Cat
1919 Shadows; The Stronger Vow; The World and Its Woman; Flame of the Desert
1920 The Woman and the Puppet; Riddle: A Woman
1931 The Movie Album
© 2005 by Denise Lowe

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Full text Article Farrar, Geraldine (1882 - 1967)
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