The first African-American to become a leading star of the Metropolitan Opera has died in St. Louis–Robert McFerrin, a resident of Creve Coeur. He was 85 McFerrin made his breakthrough at the Met in 1955, just a few weeks after Marian Anderson became the first African-American to solo in a Metroplitan Opera production. Four years later he was the singing voice of Porgy in the Movie “Porgy and Bess.” Sidney Poitier lip-synced the songs in the film. The voice of Bess was done by Adele Addision while Dorothy Dandridge lip-synced her songs. Among McFerrin’s survivors is his son, Bobby, a Grammy-award winning singer and conductor.
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