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Todd Duncan - Baritone

"Every hour in the day, every day of the week is a testimony to who you are and what you are doing, no one can touch that, not even prejudice"

Todd Duncan, Opera Singer

Todd Duncan was an American opera singer and actor, best known for being the original Porgy in George Gershwin's 1935 opera "Porgy and Bess". He had a long and successful career, performing in several productions of "Porgy and Bess" and other operas, as well as on Broadway and in Hollywood films. Duncan was known for his rich baritone voice, versatility, and acting ability. He was also a respected voice teacher and trained many aspiring singers during his career.

The original production of "Porgy and Bess" at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. took place during a time of racial segregation in the United States. At the time, many public spaces, including theaters, were segregated, and African American performers were often limited in their opportunities to perform. Despite these challenges, Todd Duncan took a stand against this practice of segregation and insisted that African Americans be able to attend the opera. Mr. Duncan and his fellow cast members of "Porgy and Bess" were able to break through racial barriers with their powerful performances and the quality of the production. The opera was considered a triumph for African American artists and helped to bring attention to the need for greater equality and integration in the arts. Duncan's own life and career were marked by his commitment to breaking down racial barriers and promoting equal opportunities for all people, and his role in "Porgy and Bess" was a significant step in that direction.

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