Swarthout, Gladys, American mezzo-soprano; b. Deepwater, Mo., Dec. 25, 1900; d. Florence, July 7, 1969. She received her training at the Bush Cons, in Chicago. In 1924 she made her operatic debut as the Shepherd in Tosca with the Chicago Civic Opera. In 1925 she sang Carmen with the Ravinia Opera Co. in Chicago. On Nov. 15, 1929, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as La Cieca; she sang that role there often until her farewell in 1945. She was particularly admired for her Carmen and Mignon, but she also sang Adalgisa, Maddalena, and Preziosilla with success. She also sang Carmen in Chicago (1939) and San Francisco (1941), and made appearances in films. Swarthout’s career was ended by a severe heart attack, and in 1954 she settled in Florence. Her autobiography appeared as Come Soon, Tomorrow (N.Y., 1945). Swarthout was admired for the warmth of her vocal technique.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire