Valentin Pelisch: a Florence Foster Jenkins (Live from MATA 2018) by MATA published on 2018-06-27T01:03:56Z Valentin Pelisch: a Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) Live from MATA Festival 2018 The Kitchen, New York April 11, 2018 Carmina Escobar, soprano Valentín Pelisch: a Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) The legendary soprano Florence Foster Jenkins (1868-1944) holds a singular place in the history of song. A wealthy New York socialite, she was known more for her flamboyant costumes and eccentric stylings than for her performance ability. Historian Stephen Pile once wrote: “No one before has succeeded in liberating themselves quite so completely from the shackles of musical notation.” In the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, Jenkins performed numerous recitals for select guests and her loyal supporters. Yielding to public demand, she presented a sold-out recital at Carnegie Hall in 1944. While Jenkins’s name is invoked in the title, Pelisch writes: “This piece tries to create a situation, and this situation, in some way, is around the character of Florence Foster Jenkins. Maybe it helps to know some information about her, maybe not.” The work, scored for female vocalist and video, is an at times scathing, at times nostalgic, and always interesting reflection on fame and success in the YouTube era.