Harshaw, Margaret, outstanding American mezzo-soprano, later soprano; b. Narberth, Pa., May 12, 1909; d. Libertyville, III, Nov. 7, 1997. She studied in Philadelphia and then was a scholarship student at the Juilliard Graduate School of Music in N.Y., where she studied voice with Anna Schoen-René, graduating in 1942. Shortly after graduation, she won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air and made her debut with the company in N.Y as a mezzo-soprano in the role of the 2nd Norn in Götterdämmerung on Nov. 25, 1942; subsequently sang contralto and mezzo-soprano roles in German, Italian, and French operas; she also acquitted herself brilliantly as a dramatic soprano in her debut appearance in that capacity as Senta at the Metropolitan Opera on Nov. 22, 1950; was particularly successful in Wagnerian roles; she sang Isolde, Sieglinde, Kundry, Elisabeth, and all 3 parts of Briinnhilde. She also excelled as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Leonore in Beethoven’s Fidelio. She was a guest soloist with the opera companies of Philadelphia, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Covent Garden in London, and at the Glyn-debourne Festivals. On March 10, 1964, she made her farewell appearance at the Metropolitan Opera as Or-trud. In 1962 she joined the faculty of the Ind. Univ. School of Music in Bloomington, where she taught voice until retiring in 1993.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire