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Dorothy Stahl Papers, 1915-2003 (Bulk: 1925-1999)
2 boxes (1.25 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 42

Professor of Music and singer. Contains diaries, correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and sound recordings.

Terms of Access and Use: Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or quote from the documents must be obtained from the Smith College Archives.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Dorothy Stahl was born December 3, 1918 in Toledo, OH the only child of George Peter and Lola (Torbet) Stahl. She began taking piano lessons at the age of six but did not begin pursuing singing until the age of 16. Dorothy was educated in the public schools in Toledo and graduated from De Vilbiss High School in 1936. She began her undergraduate education at Toledo University where she concentrated on courses in Music and French. She transferred to the Chicago Musical College in the fall of 1939 and studied with voice teacher Graham Reed. Her skills progressed rapidly and she was awarded the Oliver Ditson Scholarship for $1,000.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1942, she went directly to the Juilliard Graduate School in New York with a four-year fellowship. She studied voice with Queena Mario, a former opera singer with the Metropolitan Opera. The war prevented Dorothy from studying in Europe and Juilliard compensated by providing the voice students stage experience in a series of productions. She sang leading roles in Der Freishutz Cosi fan tutte, The Secret Marriage by Cimarosa, and Puccini's La Rondine. She received her certificate from Juilliard in 1946.

During her early career she sang leading roles with the Chautauqua Opera Company, was a soloist with the Desoff Choir and the National Symphony Orchestra, and appeared on the Columbia Broadcasting Company as soloist on the "Church of the Air" and "New Voices in Song" programs. She aspired to being a member of the Metropolitan Opera and was a finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Audition of the Air in 1948. Two years later she gave her first Town Hall Recital in New York City.

Dorothy began her teaching career in 1952 at Centenary Junior College in Hackettstown, NJ. She was soon persuaded to join the faculty at Smith College where she began teaching voice students in September of 1955. Dorothy was highly involved in the life of the college and her department. She served on Music Department committees, appeared in every faculty show, gave numerous recitals, served as College Marshal, and was dedicated to her voice students. She published A Selected Discography of Solo Song in 1968 and followed that with five editions the last of which was published in 1984 the year she retired. Dorothy battled Parkinson's Disease for many years and died on April 3, 2003.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection is 1.25 linear feet and covers the years 1918-2003. It contains diaries, correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings and sound recordings. The collection provides a comprehensive overview of the career and personal life of Dorothy Stahl. The scrapbooks and newspaper clippings give information about her performances and the sound recordings are excellent examples of her singing abilities. She keeps a diary starting in 1931 and they are short entries but somewhat introspective. As Dorothy gets older her diary entries divulge less about her inner thoughts and more about her daily activities and the state of the weather. The diaries also show her failing health visually through the detrioration of the handwriting as the Parkinson's disease makes it more difficult for her to write.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or quote from the documents must be obtained from the Smith College Archives.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Dorothy Stahl Papers, Box # Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

Carol Gotwals, executor of the estate of Dorothy Stahl donated this collection to the College Archives, in July 2003.

Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886


Contents List
Academic records

Box 1: folder 1
Baby Book

Box 1: folder 2
Biographical information

Box 1: folder 3
Centenary Junior College

Box 1: folder 4
Chatauqua Institution

Box 1: folder 5
Chicago Musical College

Box 1: folder 6
Clippings - newspaper
1934-1967, n.d.

Box 1: folder 6a
Concert programs

Box 1: folder 7
Concert programs

Box 1: folder 8
Concert programs
1950-1982, n.d.

Box 1: folder 9
Concert - Town Hall, New York
11 Mar 1950

Box 1: folder 10

1933-1988, n.d.

Box 1: folder 11
Boepple, Paul

Box 1: folder 12
Friends from International House in New York
1945-1972, n.d.

Box 1: folder 13
Jacobi, Frederick

Box 1: folder 14
Mario, Queena

Box 1: folder 15
Reed, Graham

Box 1: folder 16
Smith College - appointments, salary, promotions

Box 1: folder 17
Stahl, Lola and George

Box 1: folder 18

Box 1: folder 19
Written by Dorothy Stahl
1926, 1934, 1949

Box 1: folder 20
Courses - Diction
1978, n.d.

Box 1: folder 21

Box 1: folder 22
High School Yearbook - Thomas A. De Vilbiss High School, Toledo, OH

Box 1: folder 23
International House, New York City

Box 1: folder 24
Juilliard School of Music

Box 1: folder 25
Metropolitan Opera Audition of the Air

Box 1: folder 26
1931-1949, n.d.

Box 1: folder 27
Mu Phi Epsilon Sorority

Box 1: folder 28
National Music League Quartet

Box 1: folder 29
1962, 1980, 1985

Box 1: folder 30

1943-1966, n.d.

Box 1: folder 31

Box 1: folder 32
c.1920-c.1960, n.d.

Box 1: folder 33
Family - Lola (Torbet) Stahl and George Peter Stahl

Box 1: folder 34

Box 1: folder 35

Box 1: folder 36
Teaching and students
1956-1964, n.d.

Box 1: folder 37
c.1950, 1964, n.d.

Box 1: folder 38
Voice teachers - Queena Mario and Graham Reed

Box 1: folder 39
Publication - Research material for Discography

Box 1: folder 40
Publication - A Selective Discography of Solo Song correspondence, contracts, reviews

Box 1: folder 41
Retirement - concert and party correspondence

Box 1: folder 42

Box 1: folder 43
Scrapbook - correspondence

Box 1: folder 44
Smith College course work

Box 1: folder 45
1931-1934, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1949-1950

Box 1: folder 46

Box 1: folder 47

Box 2: folder 1

Box 2: folder 2

Box 2: folder 3

Box 2: folder 4
Diaries - Travel

Box 2: folder 5
Sound Recordings - arranged chronologically

Metropolitan Opera broadcasts: Singing a duet from Hansel and Gretel, Queena Mario - soprano, Irene Jessner - soprano?; Singing an unidentified duet in English, Queena Mario - soprano, Mario Martinnelli - tenor

Box 12.TR, 42.Stahl Mario, Queena
Metropolitan Opera Audition of the Air, Dorothy Stahl's audition pieces: Madga's Waltz from "La Rondine" by Puccini Vilia from "The Merry Widow" by Franz Lehar; Bess, You Is My Woman Now from "Porgy and Bess" by Gershwin, Duet with Frank Guarrera - baritone; Depuis le Jour from "Louise" by Gustav Charpentier; Duet of the Flowers from "Madame Butterfly" by Puccini, Duet with Jane Hobson - mezzo soprano; Legere hirondelles from "Mignon" by Ambrose Thomas, Duet with unidentified male bass singer; Pourquoi arrachez vous a ma sombre demeure from "La Juive" by Fromental Halevy, Duet with Gertrude Ribla - dramatic soprano

Box 12.TR, 42.Stahl, Met auditions
Metropolitan Opera Audition of the Air, Dorothy Stahl's audition pieces

Box CD52
Town Hall Recital - New York City: Dorothy Stahl - soprano, Robert Payson Hill - piano
11 Mar 1950

Box 12.TR, 42.Stahl, Town Hall
Town Hall Recital - New York City: Dorothy Stahl - soprano, Robert Payson Hill - piano
11 Mar 1950

Box CD53
Christmas Vespers: Regina Coeli by Mozart; Smith College Choir; Harvard Glee Club; Dorothy Stahl - soprano soloist
Dec 1956

Box 12.TR, 80.SD Christmas 1956
WNYC Festival of American Music (radio show): 3 poems set to music by John Duke; Shelley - "My Soul is an Enchanted Boat"; James Stevens - "A Bird Sings Now"; e.e. cummings - "the mountains are dancing", Doris Silbert - narrator, Dorothy Stahl - soprano. John Duke - piano
17 Feb 1957

Box 12.TR, 42.Stahl
Thomas Mendenhall's Inauguration: 3 Sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay set to music by John Duke; "Sweet sounds, oh, beautiful music, do not cease"; "Time does not bring relief; you all have lied"; "Thou famished grave, I will not fill the yet", Dorothy Stahl - soprano, Louise Rood - viola, John Duke - piano
Oct 1959

Box 12.TR, 42.Stahl, Millay sonnets
Smith College Museum of Art - Recital for the exhibition "Henri Fantin-Latour": Dorothy Stahl - soprano, Lory Wallfisch - piano, Ernst Wallfisch - viola
18 May 1966

Box 12.TR, 42.Stahl, Museum of Art
Recital: Dorothy Stahl - soprano, Robert Miller - piano
9 Oct 1966

Box 12.TR, 42.Stahl, Recital 1966
Faculty Recital: Dorothy Stahl - soprano, Robert Miller - piano, Philipp Naegele - violin, John Sessions - celo, William Wittig - flute
2 Feb 1969

Box 12.TR, 42.Stahl,Recital 1969 #1 and #2
Recital #2: Dorothy Stahl - soprano, Unidentified pianist

Box 12.TR, 42.Stahl, Recital

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