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Carol Neblett papers

Identifier: 2019-012-s-r

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a select number of Neblett's professional files: correspondence, business papers, season schedules, materials regarding the Opera Chapman program, her curriculum vitae (resume), TV appearance materials, papers regarding recordings, and newspaper clippings of her in features and reviews.


  • 1960s-2002


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

Carol Neblett (1946-2017) was a noted American operatic soprano whose career spanned more than forty years. Born in Modesto, California on February 1, 1946. Neblett was raised in Redondo Beach, California and attended the University of California at Los Angeles. She made her professional debut at the age of eighteen at Carnegie Hall in New York and at the age of nineteen she sang the role of the Angel in Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity at the Los Angeles Music Center. She went on to appear in major roles with opera companies of New York, Vienna, Chicago, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Salzburg, and Hamburg as well as London’s Royal Opera, Covent Garden. In her career, Neblett sang leading and prominent roles in La boheme, Manon Lescaut, Louise, Don Giovanni, Marriage of Figaro, Faust, and Tosca among others. She also made countless recordings.

One highlight of Neblett’s career was singing the part of Minnie in La fanciulla del West with Placido Domingo in 1977 for Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee celebration in Covent Garden. Before that performance, Neblett sang in Tosca in 1976 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago with Luciano Pavarotti. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1979 as Senta in The Flying Dutchman. Neblett sang with the Met until 1993.

In Neblett’s varied career, she appeared on the Johnny Carson show and on a televised tribute to George London at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. In the academic world, Neblett was on the staff of Chapman University in Orange, CA as Artist-in-Residence. She also conducted master classes for young artist programs worldwide.

Neblett was fortunate to study under such illustrious teachers and coaches such as Lotte Lehmann, George London, Rosa Ponselle, Alice Ehlers, Esther Andreas and Jascha Heifetz, who was her musical mentor and dear friend for more than 30 years.

In her personal life, Neblett was honored many times and also donated much of her time to charity concert engagements for causes including AIDS and homeless mothers, including donating her time to the National Assoication of the Teachers of Singing (NATS). She was married and divorced three times. Carol Neblett passed away November 23, 2017 and was survived by a son, Stefan Shermerhorn and a daughter, Adrienne Akre Spear. She was predeceased by daughter Marianne Akre.


1.5 Linear feet (4 containers total: 3 document boxes, 1 flat box)

Language of Materials



This collection includes a select number of professional files of opera singer and Opera Chapman Artist-in-Residence Carol Neblett.


Collection is organized in four series: Correspondence, Project files, Clippings, and Audio recordings. Folders are in chronological order within each category.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Adrienne Akre and Stefan Schermerhorn, in July 2018 and July 2019. Transferred from Peter L. Atherton, Lineberger Endowed Chair in Music in Hall-Musco Conservatory.

Processing Information

Processed by Annie Tang and Claudia Horn in November 2019. Biographical note written by Horn.

Files were left predominantly in Neblett's original organization.
Finding aid to the Carol Neblett papers
Neblett, Carol (papers)
Annie Tang, Claudia Horn
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives, Leatherby Libraries Repository

Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange 92866 USA US