One of the most admired spinto voices of her age, the American soprano Dorothy Kirsten (1917–1992) was born in Montclair, New Jersey. First studying at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, she later worked with Astolfo Pescia in Rome. Returning to the United States she made her début as Pousette in Manon in 1940. This was followed by appearances with San Carlo Opera, Washington DC as Micaëla in Carmen (1942), New York City Opera as Violetta in La traviata (1944), and San Francisco (1947). Her first rôle at the Metropolitan was as Mimì in La bohéme in December 1945 and during the next 27 seasons she sang 165 performances of 18 rôles. These included Butterfly, Tosca, Minnie in La fanciulla del West, both Manons, Marguerite and Louise, in the last being coached by the composer. Her official retirement was in December 1975 but she later returned on a number of occasions thereafter. In addition to radio, television and concert appearances, Kirsten also took part in several films, the most notable being The Great Caruso with Mario Lanza (1951). She appeared in Russia in 1962. Her recordings show her to have been a well-schooled artist with an excellent technique.