Despite lacking pitch, rhythm, or tone, Florence Foster Jenkins became one of America's best-known sopranos, celebrated for her unique recordings and her sell-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Born in 1868 to wealthy Pennsylvanian parents, Florence was a talented young pianist, but her life was thrown into turmoil when she eloped with Frank Jenkins, a man twice her age. The marriage proved a disaster, and, in order to survive, Florence was forced to abandon her dreams of a musical career and teach the piano.
'People may say I can't sing. But no one can ever say I didn't sing.' Despite having no pitch, no rhythm and no tone, Florence Foster Jenkins became one of America's best-known sopranos, giving a sell-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Born in Pennsylvania in 1868, Florence Foster adored music and as a girl was a talented pianist, but her wealthy father refused to allow her to study in Europe. In retaliation she eloped with Dr Frank Jenkins, but the marriage soon foundered, not least because the 18-year-old bride contracted syphilis on their wedding night.
On the threshold of 40, Jasper Rees fished his French horn out of the attic and, despite limited ability, sets himself a near-impossible target: to stand up in front of a paying audience in 12 months’ time and play a Mozart concerto. Alone. This is the inspired story, not only of a midlife rethink, but also of man’s first musical instrument, and its journey from the hunting fields of aristocratic France to Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.