Farewell, Dorothy Warenskjold

January 17, 2011

This from the Kansas City Star:

WARENSKJOLD Dorothy Lorayne Warenskjold, 89, of Lenexa, KS, passed away, Monday, December 27, 2010, at the Lakeview Village Care Center. Dorothy was born May 11, 1921, in San Leandro, CA, the only daughter of William and Mildred (Stombs) Warenskjold. She graduated from Mills College in Oakland, CA. She was a Lyric Soprano with the San Francisco Opera Company, and appeared on numerous programs on NBC including: The Harvest of Stars with James Milton, The Voice of Firestone, and the Rail Road Hour with Gordon McCray. She traveled the United States performing with numerous Opera Companies. Some of her most famous roles included La Boheme as Mimi, Carmen as Micaela and The Magic Flute as Pamina. In her later years, Dorothy served as an adjunct professor at UCLA School of Arts. In 2004 she moved to the Kansas City area to be closer to her family. She is survived by her cousin, Coralie (Bob) Ginther, Lenexa, KS, Susie (Doug) Scanlon, Katie Kuhlman & Holly Scanlon, Lenexa, KS, Don Dubois, Dalton & Claire DuBois. Newport Beach, CA. Memorial contributions may be made to: The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, attn: Michelle LaPointe, 1029 Central Kansas City, MO 64105. (Condolences may be expressed at: www.porterfuneralhome.com Arrangements: Porter Funeral Homes & Crematory, 8535 Monrovia, Lenexa, KS (913) 438-6444.

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I had the privilege of knowing Dorothy Warenskjold as my colleague at UCLA. She was a terrific mentor/teacher. In addition to voice, she taught students the art of stage presence. Who does that nowadays?

She had true poise (as opposed to grit). Her performances on the old TV show, The Firestone Hour, were heard by millions. I was sorry not to see a larger selection of her work on YouTube but here she is singing “The Star Spangled Banner” from a 1962 album called “Hail America.” (The video doesn’t need to be seen unless you are in need of a shot of American patriotism from the Reagan era.) A beautiful performance, her voice truly shines though. Who knew there were more verses?
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