Charlotte White's

Florence Foster Jenkins

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

By Charlotte White 

“Tinga ling aling a ling a ling,” touted the insistent telephone early, early on a Sunday morning, awaking us from a deep sleep.

I was going to ignore it but I always feel there may be something special, an emergency, that I must not miss. So I answered. The voice at the other end was a little squeaky and said proudly, “Are you Charlotte White, the pianist? I am Florence Foster Jenkins, the famed soprano. I heard you in concert just the other day and I felt you might be perfect as my accompanist. I have been searching extensively for the right person but of all you are the most interesting. I’m giving a concert tonight at the Park Lane Hotel and I would like to invite you and then perhaps we can go upstairs to my apartment where I live and we can have a talk about what this work involves. Oh yes, by the way, if I should suddenly stop speaking, you’ll know I’m saving my voice so I don’t want to talk too much now. Will you come?”