Jenny Lind and P. T. Barnum: A Success Story of Music, Business, and Philanthropy


Soprano Jenny Lind (1820–87), known as the “Swedish Nightingale,” toured the United States in 1850 under the auspices of “America’s Greatest Showman” and self-proclaimed “Prince of Humbug,” P. T. Barnum (1810–91). The tour was a phenomenal success for both of them and made Lind perhaps the most famous person on earth that year. This article presents historical information, pictures, documents, and commentary about these two historical figures and their relationship. It also offers critiques and descriptions of her singing, alongside corresponding recordings of the music she sang. Because there was no recording technology invented during Lind’s lifetime, these modern recordings by other singers are used to bring her singing to life.

Vincent P. Benitez
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Last modified on Monday, 20/04/2020

Sylvia Parker

Sylvia Parker is Senior Lecturer of Music at the University of Vermont, where she teaches piano and music theory. She performs frequently as a piano soloist and ensemble player. Her publications include a CD and several articles about Béla Bartók, and scholarly presentations on topics in history, performance, and analysis.

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