The Gilded Gentleman

Lillian Nordica, Part 1: The Making of a Gilded Age Soprano Superstar

Episode Summary

This week's show will lead you into the glamorous world of a superstar soprano of the Gilded Age. Despite challenging moments in her personal life, Lillian Nordica rose to become one of the most glamorous international stars of late 19th and early 20th century. 

Episode Notes

XXVII. The glamour of the Gilded Age was found not only at dinner parties and balls but in theatres and opera houses as well.   Lillian Nordica, originally from the small town of Farmington, Maine, rose to the heights of operatic stardom both in Europe and here in America in the last years of the Gilded Age and the early years of the 20th century.  

Her unlikely story, little known today, combines a hardworking background of near poverty with the audiences and applause, the  diamonds and gowns of an international superstar.  Unlike some divas, Lillian used her fame to support human rights and became an outspoken advocate for women's right to vote and equality in the workplace - whether a factory or opera stage.  Her fame had even entered popular culture  - she was one of the first models in ads for Coca Cola .  

Join Carl on this week's episode for  Lilian's story which takes us to Paris, St. Petersburg, Milan and around the world.  We'll take a look onstage and offstage at just how a star in the Gilded Age was really made. 


Love the show? Support the Gilded Gentleman on Patreon! We'll thank you with exclusive audio extras, VIP invites, and more.