Anne Brown (August 9, 1912 – March 13, 2009) 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.
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Annie Wiggins Brown was the daughter of Dr. Harry F. Brown, a physician, and his wife, the former Mary Allen Wiggins. Her father was the grandson of a slave and her mother's parents were of black, Cherokee Indian, and Scottish-Irish origins. She had three sisters. As a young child, Brown showed a great musical talent and according to family legend she could sing a perfect scale at just 9 months old.
As an African-American, she was not allowed to attend a Roman Catholic elementary school in her native Baltimore. She trained at Morgan College and then applied to the Peabody Institute, but was rejected from the school due to her race...
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