Home > Misc > Black History Month – Opera – Dorothy Maynor and Adele Addison

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 Maynor











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 Addison











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

  1. February 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Opera! Not the browser. . . People singing and acting. Love it.

  2. TaxCoach
    February 29, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks for sharing wonderful videos. This is a lovely way to celebrate Black History Month.

  3. February 29, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    You find the most wonderful resources. Thank you. I’ll share them with my 10 year old who’s half African American.

  4. February 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Nice Post Sally, thanks for putting it together.

  5. February 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Can’t stand opera. Puts me to sleep faster then anything I can think of.

  6. February 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Sally!

  7. February 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks Sally for sharing with us 🙂

  8. February 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Great share, thanks Sally 🙂

  9. milieunet
    February 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Thanks Sally

  10. mandyf
    February 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    This is one of the best yet. I remember Porgy and Bess, as well as Adele Addison from my parents old 78 rpm’s. I had forgotten all about her, but this served as a really nice little reminder.

  11. February 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Porgy and Bess has some of my very favorite songs, especially Summertime. Thanks for this information.

  12. February 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    It always amazes me that the Entertainment and music industry never showed the Prejudices that were much more Prevelant in other industries .

    of Course i’m not Sure that Black Artists got paid equal Wage and Were allowed to Mingle with Everyone when off Stage

  13. February 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Thanks Sally for sharing this great and interesting blog with us! Have a great Wednesday! Best, Lucas

  14. G'Day
    February 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing Great video. Amazing part of history.

  15. February 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Thank you. Great post. It’s important to spread great examples

  16. Vera
    February 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Thank you, Sally! Beautiful mission! Beautiful voices and musical ) Back in 2008 a company from the USA visited our small Estonia with “Porgy and Bess”, and I went to see it. It was fabulous )

  17. February 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Thanks Sally. They are really excellent performers and I did not know them.

  18. February 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm


  19. February 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Great Share….

  20. February 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Great post Sally, well done for getting all that together!

  21. March 1, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I’m not into Opera even though I do admire the range and skill they have with their voices. Adele’s voice in that video is quite amazing though… yeah and the bloke’s not bad either.

  22. March 3, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Sally you are one of the most versatile bloggers I’ve read 🙂 It’s interesting how no one seems to know what Adele’s up to right now, that’s almost mysterious.

  23. March 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Sally, thanks for profiling these wonderful strong women, who made such a difference in the arts! What a great service you are doing by sharing their stories!

  24. March 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    thanks.very good blog and very good share.

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