Florence Foster Jenkins (1868-1944), was a socialite and amateur operatic soprano who was passionate about music. She sang way beyond her technical ability and voice range. Her voice cracked. It billowed unliltingly. She sang flat, had no rhythm and feverishly fluttered a fan. She designed and wore over-the-top costumes that were à la Liberace before his time. Wings, tinsel, feathers and stars garnished her zaftig frame.
Her performances bordered on ridiculous ... but this babe had a passion that wouldn't quit. She never, ever, ever gave up.
We love Florence because she believed in herself. She had a "Go to hell" attitude that was enviable. She may well have been the inspiration of Maya Angelou's wonderful saying:
Let nothing dim the light
That shines from within.
Sing on, Florence! Audiences continue to adore you for your inexorable and inimitable chutzpah.
Click here to hear Florence Foster Jenkin's murder Mozart's aria, "Queen of the Night." (Get ready to hold your ears.)