Geraldine Farrar (February 28, 1882 - March 11, 1967) was an opera singer whose stage presence earned her a fanatic following of Gerryflappers in the early 20th century.
"Farrar as the title charcter in Manon"Farrar was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, the daughter of Sidney Farrar and his wife Henrietta Barnes. She studied voice in Boston, New York, Paris, and Berlin, creating a sensation in the latter city with her debut as Marguerite in Gounod's Faust in 1901, and appearing in the title rôles of Mignon and Manon, and as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette. Among her fans in Berlin was Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor August Ernst, Crown Prince of Prussia, with whom she conducted an affair beginning in 1903.
After appearing at Monte Carlo she made her debut at the Metropolitan in 1906. She developed a popular following in such rôles as Carmen and Madame Butterfly, originating the rôle of Suor Angelica in Il trittico.
She was, in best opera diva style, noted for her tempermental nature.
Farrar recorded extensively for the Victor Talking Machine Company and was often featured prominently in that record company's ads (an example can be seen at 1914 in music).
She also appeared in silent movies, filmed inbetween between Opera seasons. Farrar starred in over a dozen films from 1915 to 1920. Perhaps her most notable screen role was as Joan of Arc in the 1917 film Joan the Woman.
Her marriage to Lou Tellegen on February 8, 1916 was the source of considerable scandal, terminating in a very public divorce in 1923, which was brought again to public recollection by Tellegen's bizarre 1934 suicide in Hollywood.
She retired from opera at the age of forty and appeared in recitals until 1931, and was briefly the commentator for the radio broadcasts at the Met.
Her autobiography, Such Sweet Compulsion, published in 1938, was written in alternating chapters purporting to be her own words and those of her mother, her mother rather floridly recounting Geraldine's accomplishments.
She died in Ridgefield, Connecticut of a heart attack and was buried in Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.