mardi 29 décembre 2009

Wiki-curiosity: The worst cantatrice of the world - Florence Foster Jenkins

"Florence Foster Jenkins (July 19, 1868 – November 26, 1944) was an American soprano who became famous for her complete lack of rhythm, pitch, tone, and overall singing ability."

"Born Florence Foster 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. The two divorced in 1902.[1] She earned a living there as a teacher and pianist. Upon her father's death in 1909,[1] 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.[2] She became involved in the musical life of Philadelphia, and later New York City, where she founded and funded the Verdi Club, took singing lessons, and began to give recitals, her first in 1912.[2] Her mother's death in 1928 gave her additional freedom and resources to pursue singing."

"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."

"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."

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