Stranger stuns performer during recording of national anthem: 'Unity not division'

·2 min read

A Portland State University graduate who was preparing to pre-record her rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” for her virtual commencement was joined by an opera singer in an impromptu duet that has captured hearts across the nation.

Madisen Hallberg, a graduate of PSU’s College of the Arts, was working with the university’s video crew — who was in the process of recording speeches and performances to celebrate the graduating class of 2020 — when the chance moment took place.

While the team was recording Hallberg’s rendition of the national anthem on an outdoor stage, Emmanuel “Onry” Henreid, a professionally trained singer who performs with the Portland Opera, took notice and asked if he could join in.

The two then put on a stunning, impromptu duet that has since been viewed by thousands.

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Facebook users flocked to the comments section to laud the beautiful performance.

“This is what our nation is about....unity not division,” one wrote.

“Awesome isn't strong enough a word,” said another.

In a comment on PSU’s now-viral Facebook post, Henreid shared a uniting message for the class of 2020.

“Sometimes the most spontaneous, intuitive and creative moments birth forth the most impactful and lasting memories,” he wrote. “As illustrated in the video the world around us is ever-changing. As you continue your personal journey remember to take chances, find your voice, and collaborate. We are stronger when we face this beautiful yet daunting world together.”

If you enjoyed this story, check out this adorable baby who stole the show.

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