Learn more about Muriel Smith's boundary-crossing career
Curtis graduate Muriel Smith (Voice '46) might be one of the most accomplished singers you've never heard of. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, she starred on Broadway, debuting in the title role of Carmen Jones while she was still a student at Curtis, and appearing in major productions of shows including South Pacific and The King and I. As her career progressed, she began to appear in traditional opera as well, and mirrored her Broadway debut when she performed the role of Carmen in Bizet's opera at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Some of Smith's most noteworthy performances unfortunately did not come under her own name—like now-famous ghost singer Marni Nixon, Smith supplied her voice uncredited for several major films, singing for Zsa Zsa Gabor in Moulin Rouge and Juanita Hall in The King and I. Audiences weren't wholly unaware of her talent, though. Smith had a many-faceted career and released a number of popular music recordings in addition to her Broadway and classical work. Her 1953 recording "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me," was a notable hit, and survives to this day as a popular fixture on "oldies" radio.
The Curtis Archives recently digitized a collection of vinyl recordings by Muriel Smith, including selections from art song and the Moulin Rouge score.
Muriel Smith's best known recording, "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me"