A couple of days ago we get sent over some information about an upcoming film called Florence Foster Jenkins. That one will star Meryl Streep as the lady in question and Hugh Grant as her long suffering husband.
If you don’t know the story of this great woman, what have you been doing with yourself? A lady of such dubious talent who managed to sell out Carnegie Hall in two hours as her fame had spread far and wide. From the likes of Cole Porter & Kitty Carlisle to whoever could manage to get one of the most sort-after tickets of 1944. There were queues around the block when the day came. They could have sold the hall many times over but one night was all that was required to cement her reputation.
As the program shows, it was an ambitious concert. Not only that, it had numerous costume changes throughout. Not only that, it has a great fire warning on the first page!
Before that concert, all others were “private” with good reviews. Probably written by the lady herself. That all changed with her Carnegie Hall performance. It was “public” so she couldn’t stop critics coming to watch her show off her talent. A bad move as the reviews were as bad as you would expect. The reviews destroyed her as she always believed that she was an excellent singer and performer.
Even the archives of the hall itself doesn’t have a good word to say about her…
…In order for a singer to succeed, they need to have a combination of talent, charisma, and interpretive quality. And, by definition, they need to be able to sing. Florence Foster Jenkins had none of these attributes…
If you can suffer it, below is a quick, audio, clip showing off her talent. You can listen to more of it on Spotify
Only a few days after her performance at Carnegie Hall she suffered a heart attack. A month later she was dead.
Her erratic behaviour, especially in older age, could be put down to the treatment she had for syphilis. Something that her first husband gave her! That treatment also made her lose all of her hair!
I will leave you with a quote from the great woman herself: