American soprano Carole Farley has sung operatic roles such as Mimì, Cio-Cio San, Tosca, Kundry, Violetta, and Constanze, but because she has specialized in operas outside the standard repertoire, particularly twentieth century works, and is deeply committed to living composers, as well as to relatively obscure composers of the recent past, she is not widely known to traditional opera audiences.
Farley received her training from Indiana University and as a Fulbright Scholar at the Hochschule für Musik, Munich. She made her recital debut at New York’s Town Hall in 1969. At the Metropolitan Opera, Farley made her debut as Mimì in 1975, and went on to sing Lulu in 1977, and the Met’s premiere of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk in 1994. Lulu was a signature role of hers and she sang it over 100 times, in four languages, including the British premiere at the Welsh National Opera in 1971. She also gave over 100 performances of Salome. During the last quarter of the twentieth century she sang at the New York City Opera, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Canadian Opera, and Théâtre de la Monnaie, as well as the houses of Brussels, Lyon, Zürich, Cologne, Florence, and Turin, among others.
She has devoted much of her career to newer music and has sung works of Janacek, Schoenberg, Weill, Britten, Rorem, Bernstein and Bolcom. She is also committed to lesser known composers, such as Ernesto Lecuona, Aubert Lemeland and conductor José Serebrier, to whom she is married. Her recordings include works by Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Milhaud, Prokofiev, and Richard Strauss. One of her most popular releases is a video of two one-act operas, Poulenc’s La voix humaine and Menotti’s The Telephone.