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Robert Todd Duncan, Danville, Ky. (1903-1998): Todd Duncan created the role of Porgy in the classic musical, Porgy & Bess, which opened on 10 October 1935 in New York. Prior to that, he obtained a master's degree in voice from Columbia University. He sang in London, and was the first black artist to appear at the New York City Opera, in 1945. He retired from show-business in 1951, but continued a teaching and singing career that included over 2,000 performances in 56 countries. During his performance in Porgy & Bess in Washington, D. C., he led a strike that resulted in the National Theatre allowing an integrated audience for the first time. He was a Professor of Voice at Howard University in Washington D.C., and was recognized as an outstanding and dedicated teacher. He taught hundreds of black artists at the university and later as a private tutor from his home. teacher continued until just before his death.
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