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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 in 1912.


1933 21 Years Old In 1933, by this time a second-year graduate student at Juilliard, Brown learned that George Gershwin was going to compose an opera about African Americans in South Carolina. … Read More
1935 23 Years Old Brown took part of opera history when she sang Bess for Porgy and Besss world premiere 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 25 Years Old After her appearance as the first Bess, Brown returned to Broadway in the 1937 musical revue Pins and Needles. … Read More


1942 30 Years Old 1 More Event
Brown sang Bess in several revivals of Porgy and Bess during this time, including the 1942 Broadway revival. … Read More
1948 36 Years Old In 1948, Brown settled in Oslo, Norway and became a Norwegian citizen after marrying skier Thorleif Schjelderup, a medalist at the 1948 Winter Olympics. … Read More


1955 43 Years Old Her career as a singer was cut short due to problems with asthma and she no longer sang professionally after 1955 (She sang at the Teatro Colón in October 1955.)She embarked on a second career as a voice teacher at this point. … Read More


1998 86 Years Old In 1998, Anne Brown received the George Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Music in America from the Peabody Institute, the institution that had denied her music education 70 years earlier.
1999 87 Years Old She was also made an honorary citizen of Baltimore in 1999.
2000 88 Years Old In 2000 she was awarded Norway's Council of Cultures Honorary Award.
2008 96 Years Old Brown was a guest of honor at the gala opening of the Oslo Opera House 12 April 2008.
2009 97 Years Old She resided in Oslo up until her death in 2009 at the age of 96. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Brown.
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