Geraldine Farrar - Recording Artist and Willa Cather Opera Prototype

.

 

By Doug Boilesen, 2020

Geraldine Farrar has been identified by scholars (1) as a prototype used by Cather used in her opera related stories Scandal and A Gold Slipper, i.e., one of the prototypes for Kitty Ayshire.

Besides starring on the opera stage Farrar made phonograph records and was featured in advertisements which added her celebrity status, artistic reputation, and the prestige of opera to the promotion of the early phonograph.

The Phonographia gallery Willa Cather's Opera Prototypes who were Recording Artists provides an overview with examples and ephemera related to Cather's six opera related prototypes: FARRAR, FREMSTAD, NORDICA, GARDEN, SCHUMANN-HEINK and BORI.

This gallery provides examples focused on Geraldine Farrar and her popular culture role as seen in advertisements and other ephemera.

.

 

Geraldine Farrar .

.

October 1908

 

See "Which is which" for additional examples of this 1908 Victor advertising campaign which focused on promoting the accuracy and realism of the talking machine by asking the question: Can you really tell the difference between the actual performer and the Victor record?

 

 

 

 

See "Both are" for additional examples of the 1914 - 1916 advertising campaign which wanted to assure consumers that what you were purchasing was "just as truly" the artist as the artist him or herself.

.

.

.

Farrar and Schumann-Heink, Harper's Magazine, 1908

.

.

.

The Talking Machine World, December 1908

 

 

 

Farrar taking a tour of the Victor factory in Camden, N.J., April 15, 1908 Talking Machine World and listening to a Victor V Talking Machine.

It was noted in the article that "Miss Farrar, who before signing an exclusive agreement with the Victor, had previously made records in the laboratories of the principal European companies, was greatly impressed at the magnificent equipment of the Victor plant, and at the care and attention which marked every part of the process of record taking."

 

 

.

The Outlook Magazine, 1909

 

 

 


1909

 




Deutsche Grammophon magazine ad with Geraldine Farrar (7" x 9.75") 1911

 




 

Parfum Geraldine Farrar postcard advertisement

.


.

Geraldine Farrar as “fashion editor” The Ladies’ Home Journal, 1914

 

 

 

The Talking Machine World, July 1917

 

 

 

New Victor Records December 1920

 

 

.

.

.

Farrar, "O, for the Wings of a Dove," 1911

"Do not neglect to cultivate the highest esthetic tastes." The loss of the taste for music is indeed 'a loss of happiness...'

 

.

.

.

American Magazine, 1914

.

.

.

Everybody's Magazine, 1915

.

.

.

Farrar on cover of The Theatre, December 1915

.

.

.

Miss Geraldine Farrar in "smart French Felt" hat, newspaper clipping 1915, Courtesy New York Public Library Picture Collection

.

.

.

Geraldine Farrar as Joan of Arc, Picture-Play Magazine , January 1917

.

.

.

Farrar in "Carmen" The Moving Picture World, September 1918

.

 

 

.

1918 Farrar

 

 

 

 

 

Geraldine Farrar and Mme. Schumann-Heink

Farrar and Schumann-Heink, November 10, 1909

 

 

 

Farrar and Eames, the greatest American sopranos, 1911

.

.

 

.

Geraldine Farrar and Mme. Schumann-Heink

.

Exclusivity and hosting the world’s greatest artists like Farrar and Schumann-Heink (with Caruso of course here leading the procession) were privileges that came with owning a Victor. Wealth and high social status were obvious and intended parts of these ads. Victrola Christmas Brochure, 1914

.

 

 

Farrar to left of Caruso, "Victor Supremacy" c.1917

 

 

.

 

.

Geraldine Farrar, Mme. Schumann-Heink and Lucrezia Bori

Farrar, Schumann-Heink and Bori, The Ladies' Home Journal, September 1919

 

 

.

.

Geraldine Farrar and Mme. Schumann-Heink

Farrar and Schumann-Heink, the National Geographic 1919

 

 

 

 

Geraldine Farrar and Mme. Schumann-Heink

Farrar and Schumann-Heink, The Literary Digest for November 6, 1920

 

 

 

 

Farrar as Madame Butterfly, 1921

 

 

 

 

 

Geraldine Farrar makes Victrola Records exclusively, 1919

 

 

 

"It is quite fitting that so good an American as Miss Farrar" sing her rendition which "is quite an inspiring one." Victor Records Catalog August 1916

 

.


Farrar sings "Star Spangled Banner" Newspaper ad 1919

.

.

.

Motion Picture News, April 17, 1920

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farrar as Zaza, Victor Records Catalog for April 1920

.

 

Headline from New York Times article on April 23, 1922 about Farrar's farewell performance at the Met.

For timeline of Farrar's career using newspaper accounts see The Parterre Archives by LA CIECA on August 07, 2015

.

.

.

Geraldine Farrar endorses the new Cutex Polishes, 1919

.

.

Geraldine Farrar endorses Cutex, the modern way to manicure, 1919

.

.

April 17, 1920 Testimonial by Farrar for Steinway pianos

 

 

 

 

Geraldine Farrar and Mme. Schumann-Heink

Farrar and Schuman-Heink,"The Chosen instrument by the world's greatest artists." The Ladies' Home Journal" November 1918

.

.

.

1923 Farrar and Schuman-Heink and Homer - "Victor Supremacy"

.

.

.

 

.

Geraldine Farrar, Mme. Schumann-Heink and Mary Garden

Farrar, Schumann-Heink, Mary Garden - 1922 sepia rotogravure

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phonographia