Oral Histories

Interview of Dorothy Kirsten

Singer with the Metropolitan Opera.
La Voce Lirica-Spinta
Interviews not in a series, part one
Biographical Note:
Singer with the Metropolitan Opera.
Hast, Sybil D.
Kirsten, Dorothy
Persons Present:
Kirsten, Hast, and Vicki Hillebrand.
Place Conducted:
Kirsten's home in Pacific Palisades, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Sybil D. Hast, B.A., French, Smith College; M.A., French, University of Pittsburgh; M.A., German, UCLA.Lecturer in Music, UCLA. Hast prepared for the interview by conducting research in the UCLA Music Library and having several informal background discussions with Kirsten and Vicki Hillebrand, Kirsten's personal assistant, who supplied Hast with articles, reviews, and a copy of Kirsten's autobiography, A Time to Sing.
Processing of Interview:
Alex Cline, editor, edited the interview. He checked the verbatim transcript of the interview against the original tape recordings, edited for punctuation, paragraphing, and spelling, and verified proper names. Words and phrases inserted by the editor have been bracketed.The edited manuscript was sent to Kirsten in August of 1992. She died before reviewing the manuscript, and thus some of the proper names have not been verified.Steven J. Novak, editor, prepared the table of contents and interview history. Cline prepared the biographical summary. Lisa Magee, editorial assistant, compiled the index.
5 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Childhood in New Jersey; meets Grace Moore and becomes her protégé; voice lessons in Naples; outbreak of World War II and return voyage to United States; singing with the Chicago Opera Company; singing with the Metropolitan Opera; preparing for roles; working with conductors; studies with Ludwig Fabri; singing radio duets with Frank Sinatra; playing Mimi in La Bohème; playing Marguerite in Faust; concert tour in Russia; John D. French and the French Foundation for Alzheimer's Disease; Kirsten's leading men; promoting opera in Los Angeles; teaching master classes at UCLA.