Anne Brown

Born Aug 9, 1912

Anne Wiggins Brown was an African American soprano who created the role of "Bess" in the original production of George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess in 1935. She was also a radio and concert singer. She settled in Norway in her 30s and later became a Norwegian citizen.… Read More

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1912 Birth Born on August 9, 1912.


1933 20 Years Old In 1933, she was a second-year graduate student at Juilliard. … Read More
1935 22 Years Old Brown took part of opera history when she sang Bess for the world premiere of Porgy and Bess at the Colonial Theatre in Boston on September 30, 1935 – the try-out for a work intended initially for Broadway where the opening took place at the Alvin Theater in New York City on October 10, 1935. … Read More
1937 24 Years Old After her appearance as the first Bess, Brown returned to Broadway in the 1937 musical revue Pins and Needles. … Read More
1942 29 Years Old Brown sang Bess in several revivals of Porgy and Bess during this time, including the 1942 Broadway revival.


1945 32 Years Old She also sang Bess for the Decca Records album Selections from George Gershwin's folk opera Porgy and Bess and sang some of Bess's music in an appearance in the 1945 Gershwin biography film Rhapsody in Blue. … Read More


1955 42 Years Old …  Her career as a singer was cut short, however, due to problems with asthma; she no longer sang professionally after 1955. (She sang at the Teatro Colón in October 1955.) At this point, she embarked on a second career as a voice teacher. … Read More


1999 86 Years Old …  She was also made an honorary citizen of Baltimore in 1999.
2000 87 Years Old In 2000, she was awarded Norway's Council of Cultures Honorary Award.
2009 97 Years Old She resided in Oslo up until her death in 2009 at age ninety-six.
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