Phyllis Curtin '43

Alumnae Achievement Awards 1971

Phyllis Curtin '43
Opera Singer


Phyllis Curtin is a distinguished American soprano, best known for her roles as Mozart’s heroines and her leading roles in contemporary operas. Born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, Curtin graduated from Wellesley College in 1943, with a major in political science, and continued her studies at the New England Conservatory. 

In 1946, Curtin made her operatic debut with the New England Opera as Lisa in The Queen of Spades. She debuted with the New York City Opera in 1953, as Fraülein Burstner in Gottfried von Einem’s The Trial, and she remained with the New York City Opera until 1960. Curtin also debuted with the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1961. She toured the world, performing as a soloist and a recitalist until she retired in 1984.

Curtin dedicated much of her time not only to performances, but to teaching as well. She taught at the Aspen School of Music, the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood, and the Yale University School of Music. At Yale, she was a professor of voice until 1983, when she returned to the Boston area to serve as the dean of the College of Fine Arts at Boston University. In 1992, Curtin retired from her position as the dean, but she remained a professor at the university.

Since 1995, Video Artists International has released several recordings of Phyllis Curtin’s live performances.


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