Dagmar White served for six terms as a vice president of the SVU Executive Board. Born in Prague, she came to the United States in 1948 after the Communist takeover of her country. During the Second World War she was interned with her mother and brother because her father was fighting with the Free Czechoslovak Forces Abroad.
She wears many hats in the field of music: soprano, director of opera, voice teacher, choral conductor, and musicologist.
She holds undergraduate degrees from the Juilliard School of Music and the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in Music Education from Columbia University, and a PhDr. from Charles University.
She taught at the National Conservatories in Bogota, Colombia; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and Managua, Nicaragua. She had an extensive career in opera, concert, radio, and television, and appeared as a soloist with symphony orchestras.
Dr. White is the founder and director of the Vienna Light Opera Company and a member of the music faculty of the Northern Virginia Community College. She also teaches in her private voice studio and has sponsored several singers in the Metropolitan Opera auditions. She is a tireless propagator of Czech music. With the Vienna Light Opera Company, she produced and directed two productions of Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride,” the first one in 1986 and the second one in 1998, which was subsidized by a grant from the Czech Government. She sang leading roles in American premiers of Smetana’s “Two Widows,” Dvorak’s “Peasant Rogue,” “Stubborn Lovers,” and “The Devil and Kate,” presented at The Kennedy Center. She is also coaching American singers in Czech diction and Czech vocal repertoire.
As a musicologist, she has done research for the Moravian Music Foundation on “The 1501 Bohemian Hymnal,” and actively participates as a lecturer during the SVU congresses. She has chaired musicological sessions during the past seven congresses. During the 18th World Congress in Brno in 1996, she was in charge of the academic program. She was president of the Washington, DC Chapter during 1985-88 and chairman of the local arrangements for the 14th World Congress. As a vice president, she was involved in cultural and social aspects of the Society and the organization of international conferences.