The movie “Florence Foster Jenkins” is based on the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins who was an American amateur soprano in early 1900s. She was a talented pianist and gave a recital in the White House in her youth. She had a desire to study music in Europe but her father refused to grant his permission. After her father passed away, Florence who inherited her father’s estate immersed herself in wealthy New York City society and contributed to the development of music founding many musical clubs.
She performed at a club but her vocal skill was very poor. So, everyone who criticized her singing was restricted. Only the members of the club and a few people could enter the club.The audiences liked her song and critics praised her with sarcastic remarks. However more and more people became curious about her performance.
Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini who was one of the great acclaimed musician invited Florence who supported financially to his concert. Being touched by a soprano, Florence decided to take voice lessons. The first day of the lesson, her pianist was lost for words by her vocal skill and her coach’s flattering words. There were plenty of flatterers around her. So, she thought she was very good at singing.
One day, she sent her recording album to a radio station and it was broadcast. Then, it attracted attention. Finally, she got to perform in Carnegie Hall. Three thousands of seats were fulfilled and she began to sing.
After a while, the audience booed as she started singing but soon they started to cheer for her and the concert finished successfully. However the Washington Post hypercriticized the concert. Even though her husband bought all of the newspapers in the city so that she could not see, she eventually read a newspaper and keeled over.
Hearing about Florence as known as the worst soprano from the radio, I got to know about the movie. I laughed a lot when I first listened to her singing but after a while I began to think what made her move and why people remember her. Even though it is over 70 years from when she died, a record company released her album again in 2013.
I who was proud of myself that I could sing perfectly in tune and rhythm got a vocal fold nodules and was depressed. I was not able to sing in the high pitched notes and even the note that I wanted to sing. I was afraid of people hearing my voice. Now the Lord has changed me to sing for the Lord but other people and my own satisfaction.
I never want to sing at the Carnegie Hall like Florence. I am worried about the reputation of people. What made her move were the people who cheered her, and the passion and desire in her. At the age of 76, there were boos and sarcasm and her voice sounded like yelling but no one could stop her courage and passion.
I started to think about the passion of myself who knows the Gospel. The mission to preach the Gospel is not only for missionaries but all Christians. It is not about the good speakers or the logical people. If I am not enough to preach the Gospel, It is still Gospel that touches someone’s heart, even though it sounds like shouting a word.
I will offer myself to God to glorify his name. I will not be afraid of how other people think of me. Through this movie, God made me preach the priceless love of God and dream of the Lord who will be back.
Florence said “People may say I can’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.”Same as her, I will pray that the children of God who love the Lord even if they cannot express the Gospel very well, will arise.[GNPNEWS]
Missionary, Gwak, Jung Min