VOTIPKA, THELMA (20 Dec. 1898-24 Oct. 1972), opera singer with the Metropolitan Opera Co., was born in Cleveland to Emil and Jessie Votipka, and studied at Oberlin Conservatory and with Lila Robeson in Cleveland and Anna Schoen Rene in New York City. Her operatic debut was as the singing countess in the Marriage of Figaro for the American Opera Co. in 1927. She sang with the Chicago Opera from 1929-31, the Stadium Opera in 1930, and the Philadelphia Opera in 1932. In 1935, Votipka joined the Metropolitan Opera Co., remaining with the Metropolitan for 28 years. She specialized in small roles, never wanting to become a prima donna. Her most notable roles were Marianne in Der Rosenkavalier, Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana, Flora in La Traviata, and Marthe in Faust. Her favorite role was that of the witch in Hansel and Gretel. After retiring in 1961, she made a brief return to the stage of the Metropolitan for the 1962-63 season. During her years with the Metropolitan, she also sang in San Francisco, Hartford, Conn., Cincinnati, and Puerto Rico. She married John C. Groth on 24 Dec. 1947. They had no children. Votipka died in New York City.

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