White Shirt Monday: Princess Valiant

GFarrar_JdA[Geraldine Farrar (1882-1967) as Prince Valiant Joan of Arc in the 1916 movie “Joan the Woman”]

Geraldine Farrar was a soprano and didn’t sing White Shirt repertory (well, we could argue whether Carmen has defied some sexual conventions not depicted in the Bizet oprea, but perhaps Mercèdes could tell us a few things about that), and there’s nothing even remotely gay about that Joan of Arc movie, but 1) Farrar makes a great Knightress in Shiny Armor and 2) Farrar arguably had the biggest White Shirt following of any female opera singer ever, the specially designated “Gerryflappers”. 

This must be a tradition that got lost somewhere along the way – or are there specific names out there for the fangirls of, say, von Otter or Fassbaender or Troyanos, or DiDonato or Connolly or Garanča?

2 thoughts on “White Shirt Monday: Princess Valiant”

  1. Also known as “hunting packs,” after Farrar’s farewell performance at the Met they carried her “aloft down Broadway” like the statue of a saint. Imagine that scene with her in full armor.

    Terry Castle on Diva-Worship, available through Google Books, admits reluctance to be called a “Briggy-flapper.” Troyan Women? Sarahlio? Otter Devotees?

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