Eileen Farrell

Born 13 February 1920. Died 23 March 2002.

Biography

Eileen Farrell (February 13, 1920 – March 23, 2002) was an American soprano who had a nearly 60 year long career performing both classical and popular music in concerts, theatres, on radio and television, and on disc. While she was active as an opera singer, her concert engagements far outnumbered her theatrical appearances. Her career was mainly based in the United States, although she did perform internationally. The Daily Telegraph stated that she "was one of the finest American sopranos of the 20th century; she had a voice of magnificent proportions which she used with both acumen and artistry in a wide variety of roles."

Farrell began her career in 1940 as a member of the CBS Chorus on CBS Radio. In 1941 CBS Radio offered Farrell her own program, Eileen Farrell Sings, on which she performed both classical and popular music for 5 years. In 1947 she launched her career as a concert soprano and nine years later began performing on the opera stage. The pinnacle of her opera career was five seasons performing at the Metropolitan Opera from 1960-1966. She continued to perform and record both classical and popular music throughout her career, and is credited for releasing the first successful crossover album: "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues" (1960). After announcing her retirement from performance in 1986, she still continued to perform and record music periodically up into the late 1990s. She was also active as a voice teacher, both privately and for nine years at Indiana University.

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