Recording Artist and Willa Cather Prototype

 

By Doug Boilesen, 2020

Olive Fremstad has been identified by scholars (1) as a prototype used by Cather in her opera related story The Song of a Lark, i.e., the prototype for Thea Kronborg.

Besides starring on the opera stage Fremstad 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.

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

 

 

First records of Fremstad's voice ever made exclusively for Columbia, Scientific American, 1911 (PM-1830)

 

 

 

Olive Fremstad, Signed 1911 Photograph (Courtesy Wurlitzer-Bruck and available for purchase)

 

 

 

The Talking Machine World, April 15, 1914

 

 

 

 

Nordica, Fremstad, and Mary Garden

Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, 1911

 

 

 

Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, 1911

 

 

Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, 1913 (PM-2075)

 

 

Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, The Saturday Evening Post 1911

 

 

 

Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, 1911

 

 

Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, 1912

 

 

 

Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, 1912

 

 

 

Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, 1912

 

 

 

The Talking Machine World, Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, January 1912

 

 

The Talking Machine World, Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, February 1912

 

 

The Talking Machine World, Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, February 1912

 

 

The Talking Machine World, Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, February 1912

 

 

The Talking Machine World, Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, May 1912

 

 

The Talking Machine World, Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, July 1912

 

 

The Talking Machine World, Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, July 1913

 

 

A piano store with no Fremstad, Nordica, or Garden records is missing out on the vocal side of the music business. 1912? NIC



 

Olive Fremstad, McClure's Magazine, December 1913

 

 

 

NIC - TBD

 

 

 

Nordica, Fremstad and Mary Garden, Garden Magazine, August 1913

 

 

 

 

Fremstad and Mary Garden, The Theatre Magazine, September 1914

 

 

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Olive Fremstad and Mary Garden

Announcement in the February 1911 trade magazine The Talking Machine World that Columbia has just added Nordica and Fremstad to their list of exclusive Columbia artists.

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Columbia Records featuring Mary Garden and Olive Fremstad, 1916. Outing 69, October 1916

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Columbia Records featuring Mary Garden and Olive Fremstad, 1916. Hearstís, June 1916

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Columbia Records featuring Mary Garden and Alice Nielsen; Olive Fremstad listed in ad, Country Life in America, October 1916

 

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Columbia Records - You hear Fremstad, Garden..."1917

 

 

 

Fremstad mentioned as one of opera's most brilliant stars singing for the Columbia Company because Columbia Records are truly "records of life." The Literary Digest for January 13, 1917

 

The Song of the Lark is also a PhonoLiterature Book Selection where text from the book and additional phonograph connections are documented.

Visit the Phonographia gallery Willa Cather's Prototypes who were Recording Artists for an overview of Cather's six opera related prototypes: FARRAR, FREMSTAD, NORDICA, GARDEN, SCHUMANN-HEINK and BORI.

For biographical notes, pictures, and comments related to Olive Fremstad and her recordings, see Andreaís cantabile - subito, Olive Fremstad created by Andrea Suhm-Binder as part of her site for collectors of Great Singers of the Past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phonographia