Black History Month – Opera – Dorothy Maynor and Adele Addison
What a wonderful project to study and share a bit about the two tremendously talented women Dorothy Maynor and Adele Addison!
Dorothy was the daughter and granddaughter of ministers in Norfolk. She began singing in her father’s church. Dorothy had tremendous opportunities and studied music in many educational arenas. She earned a BS from Hampton Institute in 1933; attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J; and studied privately in NYC with William Kamroth and John Alan Haughton.
Dorothy was noticed at the 1939 Berkshire Festival in Tanglewood, Massachusetts when she sang for Serge Koussevitzky, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. That relationship led to a rave review in the New York Times. She became part of the elite New York opera performers of the time.
She founded The Harlem School of the Arts in 1963, which is a large and successful school to this day.
Dorothy passed away in 1996 in Norfolk, Virginia after spending the last few quiet years in a small town in Pennsylvania.
Adele had a tremendous gift as a lyric soprano and was very famous in the 1950’s and 1960’s. She is best known for singing the part of Bess in the 1959 movie Porgy and Bess.
She was born in 1925 in Springfield, MA. She won scholarships and had great opportunities to study at Westminster Choir College, Princeton University, and summer sessions at the Berkshire Music School at Tanglewood.
Adele was offered many roles in operas, but she declined most because she preferred to sing in recitals and on concert stages.
It seems that Adele is alive, but there is not current information or news available. She would be about 87 this year, and is mostly listed in New York City.
Sally K Witt
Social Media and Ministry