American soprano ANNE BROWN has died, aged 96.
Brown, who inspired legendary composer George Gershwin's character Bess in folk opera Porgy and Bess, died on 13 March (09) in Oslo, Norway, according to her daughter, Paula Schjelderup. No cause of death was given.
Gershwin was composing the opera - based on DuBose Heyward's novel Porgy about African Americans living in 1920s South Carolina - when Brown auditioned for him during her graduate studies.
Brown made a concert tour of European capitals in 1948 and eventually settled in Oslo, where she became a Norwegian citizen.
In 1998, She received the George Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Music in America from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, a conservatory school located in Maryland.
Brown is survived by her daughters Paula and Vaar, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.