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last updated: 4/20/2012

Margaret Harshaw

Margaret Harshaw
Tenure at School of Music: 1962-1993
Past School of Music Faculty Home


                Margart Harshaw was a critically acclaimed American mezzo-soprano and soprano. She studied at the Juilliard School with Anna Schoen-René. After winning the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air in 1942, she made her Metropolitan début as the Second Norn in Götterdämmerung and in subsequent seasons sang such roles as Azucena, Amneris, and Mistress Quickly. At San Francisco (1944–7) her roles included Ulrica, Brangäne, and Debussy's Geneviève. During the 1950–51 season she changed to soprano parts, succeeding Helen Traubel in the heroic Wagnerian repertory (Isolde, Senta, Kundry and Brünnhilde), and remaining with the Metropolitan until the close of the 1963–4 season. During this period she also fulfilled engagements at Covent Garden (1953–6), Glyndebourne (appearing as Donna Anna in 1954) and elsewhere. She was a convincing actress and possessed a good, though by no means great, Wagnerian voice; her tone was evenly produced over a wide range. She later taught at Bloomington, Indiana, and became one of the finest singing teachers in the USA.Harshaw became one of the most important faculty members in the history of the Jacobs School of Music, in terms not only of her pedagogy, but also of the contribution her presence made to the reputation of the school and its drawing power for excellent voice students.


De Schauensee/R, Max:' Margaret Harshaw,' Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed [18 Feb. 2008]).

Logan, George M. The Indiana University School of Music: A History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000.

 Updated 26 Feb. 2008 / Benjamin P.
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last updated: 4/20/2012