Losing Her Voice tells the story of Geraldine Farrar, an early twentieth-century American opera prima donna who transitioned from stage to screen to star in a silent Carmen directed by Hollywood legend Cecil B. DeMille. On the eve of women’s suffrage, she became an international celebrity inspiring legions of female fans known as 'Gerryflappers'.

As Geraldine journeys from vocal study in Berlin to “diva” status at the Metropolitan Opera in New York to Hollywood stardom, the music of composer Elizabeth Kelly traverses influence from Romantic opera to jazz. The audience is invited to join Farrar’s fan club via a mobile app that enables them to “like” fan posts, vote in polls and even upload selfies to her 'fan page'. As Geraldine moves from stage to screen to the audience’s personal devices, Losing Her Voice probes media representation of women’s voices, bodies and stories, and the complexities of 'fandom'.

Losing Her Voice Highlight Reel

Opera America 'Meet the Composer' video about Elizabeth Kelly/opera development

First Production: Lakeside Arts Centre (Nottingham, UK) with support from an Opera America Virginia Toulmin 'Discovery' Grant, a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant, and a University of Nottingham 'Creative and Digital' Research Priority Area Grant with support for technical development from UK EPSRC      

Premiere: April 6 & 7, 2019 – Djanogly Theatre, Nottingham Lakeside Arts Centre

Development: Piano/Vocal Workshop at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, November 2018 ('Being Human' Festival),  Orchestral Workshop at Nottingham Djanogly Recital Hall, February 2019

Score and Production Information

 Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes           

Instrumentation: clarinet in B-flat, piano, 1 percussion, 2 violins, viola, cello

Cast: Geraldine Farrar, soprano; Lilli Lehmann, soprano; Crown Prince of Germany/Lou Tellegen/Journalist, tenor; Cecil B. Demille/Journalist, baritone, SSAATB Chorus (1 per part +)

Score and Perusal Video of Full First Production Available on Request

For more information, contact Elizabeth Kelly, composer, at ekelly2@u.rochester.edu

Creative Team

Composer & Librettist: Elizabeth Kelly

Stage Director: Martin Berry

Musical Director: Calum Fraser

Projection Designer: Barret Hodgson

Mobile App Designers: Chris Greenhalgh & Adrian Hazzard

Set Designer: Francesca Lazell

Lighting Designer: Chris Flux

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