Dorothy Stahl Papers
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.