Posts tagged "Todd Duncan"
Todd Duncan, the pioneering opera singer, circa 1930s. Mr. Duncan was the first African-American to perform with a major opera company, the New York City Opera. Other career highlights include being selected by George Gershwin to originate the role of Porgy in “Porgy and Bess” and being the first person to record the now classic song, “Unchained Melody.” Mr. Duncan also held a master’s degree from Columbia University and taught voice at Howard University for over fifty years, well into his nineties. He died in 1998.
Pioneering opera singer Todd Duncan. In 1945, he became the first African American to perform with a major American opera company, the New York City Opera. He sang the role of Tonio in “I Pagliacci.” In 1935, he was selected by George Gershwin to originate the role of Porgy in “Porgy and Bess.” In 1955, he was the first person to record the now classic song, “Unchained Melody.”
Born Robert Todd Duncan in Danville, Kentucky in 1903, he earned a bachelor’s degree at Butler University in 1925, and a master’s at Columbia University Teachers College in 1930. Soon after, he joined the music faculty of Howard University where he taught voice, well into his 90’s, for over fifty years. He died in 1998.