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Dr. Delores Leffingwell

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Dr. Delores Leffingwell

Associate Professor Emeritus of Music (Voice)

Office: Carpenter Hall 303

Dr. Dolores Leffingwell, soprano, has sung leading soprano roles in opera, oratorio, and chamber music concerts under the batons of James Levine, Robert Koff and other conductors. She has been described by Richard Dyer in the Boston Globe as having "real quality in her voice, real beauty in her singing", and by Arthur Hepner as having "a genuine feel for the vocal art and that special charm it takes to draw the essence out of Lieder." Following her undergraduate work at The Juilliard School, Dr. Leffingwell was a recipient of the Schwabacher and Copen Grants for two years of study in Munich, Germany, where she appeared in recital and received a contract with the Vienna Kammer-oper. Her major teachers include Beverly Peck Johnson, Ellen Faull and Phyllis Bryn-Julson. Her former students have won competitive places and scholarships at The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Aspen and Tanglewood Summer Music Schools, Central City Opera Apprentice Program, Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony, and some have continued on with major performing careers. At Syracuse University while pursuing her masters degree, Dr. Leffingwell became a member of a research team investigating the singing voice headed by Martin Rothenberg, PhD. She continued this work as a founding member of The Singers' Clinic through the Hollingsworth Voice Laboratory, directed by Keith Clark, MD, PhD in the department of Otorhinolaryngology at the OU Health Sciences Center and at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Oklahoma City. With the support of a Peabody Career Grant, Dr. Leffingwell premiered 13 of the 21 unpublished Lieder by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel that she had collected in Berlin, Germany. After three years as a teaching associate on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music where she completed her doctorate, Dr. Leffingwell joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma, where she is currently tenured. Dr. Leffingwell has performed as a solo recitalist in conjunction with the Oklahoma State Arts Council Touring Program, has toured as a recitalist and master class presenter nationally, and especially enjoys premiering American song cycles written for her voice by such composer colleagues as Christian Asplund, Carolyn Bremer and Michael Lee. From 2004 until the summer of 2008, Dr. Leffingwell served as Chair of the Voice Department at the University of Oklahoma. During the summer of 2008, Dr. Leffingwell was one of five international adjudicators who judged the Tremplin International 2008 and the National Finals of the 2008 Canadian Music Competition, in Quebec City. She continues to train graduate and undergraduate singers and, in her spare time, to write poetry.


"...Petite in size but not in voice, Leffingwell is amply endowed with vocal ability. She has power, range and color, which she uses intelligently and tastefully and with great assurance...In every instance the composer was treated to a manner consonant with his style. She has a genuine feel for the vocal art and that special charm it takes to draw the essence out of Lieder." - Arthur Hepner, THE BOSTON GLOBE

"The musical setting [of Agrippina] contains some of the most extended and difficult coloratura and demands the greatest fierceness of expression. Miss Leffingwell negotiated the fioritura with both vocal assurance and the kind of projection and involvement that made the ornaments seem dramatically motivated." - Ellen Pfeifer, THE BOSTON HERALD AMERICAN

"Miss Jessel sung by Dolores Leffingwell made the greatest impression of the evening. Here is a voice with power and ease of projection, a lush ringing top register, excellent middle placement. Her diction was impeccable. It was with Miss Leffingwe... that the opera suddenly began to radiate the theme in full dramatic impact." - John Brenner, OPERA REVIEW

"...topped off by Dolores Leffingwell's beautifully sung and acted Elsie. Miss Leffingwell is a newcomer this year and a real find." - William Bender, THE NEW YORK TIMES

  • DMA - The Peabody Conservatory of Music of The Johns Hopkins University, 1990
  • MM - Syracuse University, 1986
  • BA - English Literature and Philosophy, Mount St. Joseph College, Ohio