Farewell to Todd Duncan, a singer-actor who originated the role of Porgy in George Gershwin's landmark opera, Porgy And Bess. According to the Associated Press, Duncan, 95, died of a heart ailment Feb. 28. After appearing in the 1935 premiere of Porgy, Duncan also starred in the show's first two revivals, 1937 and 1942. He also appeared on Broadway in Vernon Duke's Cabin In The Sky and Kurt Weill's Lost in the Stars.
Duncan later devoted his career exclusively to singing and taught in the music department at Howard University in Washington DC. AP reports that just last month, Duncan sent a tape of himself singing "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" to a Porgy and Bess symposium at the college.
-- By David Lefkowitz