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Antoine Hodge, an acclaimed opera singer and native of Georgia, has died from complications of COVID-19. According to an obituary in Opera Wire, Hodge had been battling COVID for two months prior to his death.
The New York Times reports that Hodge died in Orlando, Florida at the AdventHealth Orlando Hospital after being taken there for advanced treatment. He was 38-years-old.
Hodge, a bass-baritone, had made his debut with New York’s Metropolitan Opera for its 2019-2020 production of the celebrated George Gershwin opera, Porgy and Bess. In the show, he earned a coveted solo and posted his happiness to have earned a place in such an esteemed opera on a Facebook post during opening night.
“It never mattered to me whether I was a principal artist or an ensemble member,” Hodge wrote, “as long as I got to do it.”
Hodge was not only proud of himself, but delighted to been surround by fellow Black performers in the show.
“Not only am I lending my talents to one of the most important opera stages in the world, but I get to do it with an incredible cast of beautiful black souls,” he said.
The Metropolitan Opera issued a statement following Hodge’s passing.
“Antoine lit up our stage with his immense talent and helped create the sense of community in ‘Porgy and Bess’ that made our audiences adore it,” read the statement. “Our thoughts are with Antoine’s loved ones and all his friends and admirers here at the Met.”
The Met will dedicate the opening performance of their Porgy and Bess revival in his memory. As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hodge had also been singing regularly at New York’s Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church during his time with The Met.
He is the latest of several other members of the Met Opera orbit to succumb to COVID-19.
In January, opera director Elijah Moshinsky died of COVID-19 at age 75, according to the New York Times. WABC-TV reported that The Met Opera orchestra’s longtime assistant conductor, Joel Revzen, died last May, and violist Vincent Lionti passed that April.
Hodge’s appearance with The Met was a culmination of a 15-year career in opera. Opera Wire reports that Hodge had earned leading roles in several opera companies over the years, such as Atlanta Opera, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Utah Festival Opera, and Winter Opera St Louis just to name a few.
He lent his voice to well-known operas like Marriage of Figaro, La Bohème and La Traviata, as well as engaging in concert performances of classical pieces like the “Mozart Requiem,” Handel’s “Messiah,” and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9.”
Hodge was born Aug. 5, 1982, in Albany, Georgia, according to the New York Times. He received his bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University after studying voice.
He is survived by parents, Mildred Wingfield and Larry Hodge, and two sisters, Amber Wingfield and Angela Jones.
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