Opera singer turns graduate's national anthem performance into unexpected duet

Portland State University grad Madisen Hallberg was supposed to sing alone.

June 17, 2020, 9:11 PM

Portland State University graduate Madisen Hallberg was preparing to record a video singing the national anthem for her virtual graduation when something unexpected happened.

A man, later identified as Emmanuel Henreid, had been passing by Hallberg as she warmed up when he asked the team shooting video of her if he could join.

Henreid, who goes by Onry, is a trained opera singer. After the unplanned duet, the school posted a video of their performance to Facebook.

PHOTO: Madisen Hallberg sang the National Anthem for her graduation ceremony at Portland State University.
Madisen Hallberg sang the National Anthem for her graduation ceremony at Portland State University.
Portland State University

Hallberg told ABC News she thought the interaction was "symbolic for what we need to do as a people and as a community."

She said that rather than trying to "outsing the person next to you," we should try to "blend with them and harmonize with them."

PHOTO: Madisen Hallberg sang the National Anthem for her graduation ceremony at Portland State University.
Madisen Hallberg sang the National Anthem for her graduation ceremony at Portland State University.
Portland State University

Henreid said he was grateful that Hallberg was game to take part in the impromptu duet.

"It was a beautiful moment that we shared," he told ABC News, "and in that moment, I realized that it's essential for us to raise our voices in empowerment and in love for one another."

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