Date: 7/4/2007, 11:51 am, EDT
Name: Dreda Lutz
Location: Los Angeles
Her life and her voice were an inspiration. I remember seeing her for the first time on stage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. I was stunned, mesmerized, transported to another world with her performance. Opera became something new to me at that time, something accessible and living.
Date: 7/4/2007, 11:11 am, EDT
Name: Pete Buchanan
Location: England ex South Africa
"STOP THIEF!" is what I expected to hear every time I stole the Opera News from the Johannesburg Music Library. You were either on the cover or there would be an article and photo of you inside that I had to have for my "Pete Adores Beverly Sills "albumns. I loved you SO much that I had to have those articles on you and as far as I was concerned nobody could be as crazy about Beverly Sills as I was.
You wrote to me many times enclosing signed Photos which I still treasure today and Peter would write to me if you were away..more treasures and Muffy addressed the Greenoughs Christmas card which I still have and treasure too. Beverly I just simply adored you and appreciated your being bothered to write to a fan as far away as South Africa.
My devastation cannot match that felt by Muffy, and Stanley and all your family members to whom I send my Deepest heartfelt sympathy
Rest in peace My adorable Beverly Sills.
Date: 7/4/2007, 11:00 am, EDT
Name: Gilles-Benoît Thériault
Adieu Beverly,Ma Reine,mon Idole.
Par toi j'ai connu la joie ultime du Bel Canto.
J'ai pu trouver la collection complète de tous tes vinyles,même les "pirates".Tu seras toujours ma Seule et Unique cantatrice.
Una Voce d'Oro.
Addio cara .
Date: 7/4/2007, 10:58 am, EDT
Location: Los Angeles
After seeing her on The View this year, I was shocked to hear about her passing. I have known and enjoyed her for many reasons including her comic timing since I was a kid. Only great memories Beverly...the world has lost a superstar.
Date: 7/4/2007, 10:48 am, EDT
Name: Laurie R. Allen
Location: Lakeville, NY
I do not remember the first time I saw Ms. Sills on television, but I believe it was on the Carol Burnett Show, in the mid/late '70's. I did however, vaguely remember the piece that she sang, because it was the first operatic piece I had ever heard that I actually was captivated by. While it did not inspire me to become an opera fan at that time, it did inspire a on and off fascination with "Bubbles". When I learned of her grave illness, I was driven to find the clip of the piece I had heard her sing, and thanks to the internet, I found it - "O Luce di Quest'anima", from Donizetti's Linda di Chamounix. I have listened to it several times a day since then, as well as watching any other clips I can locate of her performances from various operas/recitals. In short, I fell in love with Beverly Sills all over again - her spectacular voice, magnificent acting ability, infectious enjoyment as she sang, as well as her "down to earth" sense of humor, and her humanity.
In death, as in life, Ms. Sills has done what she always has - brought opera (and the sheer pleasure of hearing that miraculous coloratura soprano voice) to those who may never have really heard it before. As I embark on the path of discovering opera, Ms. Sills has embarked on her final journey; I only regret that my journey started so late, and hers came too early.
My sincerest condolences to her family, and all who loved her; the angels indeed have gained a true Diva.
Date: 7/4/2007, 10:39 am, EDT
Name: Dan Patterson
Location: Houston, TX
A great singer, a great artist and a great human being. I am so grateful for all the times I saw her in performance. She was a gracious and wonderful human being who enriched all our lives. Rest in peace.
Date: 7/4/2007, 10:36 am, EDT
Location: New York
Beverly Sills was my first "Opera-Crush" I was a senior in High School and just getting into opera. Her singing touched me in a way that no singer ever had. The only word I can think of is mesmerizing. All her recordings are brilliant, but a favorite moment is the way she sings "Oh Dio, Pieta" before Gilda knocks on the door in the last act of "Rigoletto". Truly an inspired touch. As we all know her humanitarian wok and her fostering of the ARts will be her lasting legacy.
God Bless you and Thank you Miss Sills
Date: 7/4/2007, 10:32 am, EDT
Location: Florence, Italy
I was listening to your Violetta when I read you were not anymore with us. We all miss you Bubbles.
Date: 7/4/2007, 10:17 am, EDT
Name: John Carroll
Beverly Sills was my soprano. She was my Violetta. My Manon. My Lucia, Antonia, Marie, Baby Doe, and Semele; my Tudor queens, my Elvira, Zerbinetta, Cleopatra, Rosina, Marguerite, Gabriel, and Ginevra.
Sills was my first operatic voice. I borrowed her Traviata recording from the public library in ninth grade and never looked back. For about 20 years I was obsessed with hearing and collecting every live recording I could find. Long before the internet I used to write away to pirate recording dealers who had small classified ads in the back of Stereo Review, and then pore over endless lists looking for any glimmer in the cast listings of those five letters: S I L L S.
This is so hard to put in words the impact she had on my life: Sills will always be my musical touchstone because for me, more than any other singer, she synthesized all the elements of lyric art -- a uniquely beautiful voice, a vital charisma, a refined technique, a thrilling virtuosity, uncanny musicianship, empathy, joy, thoughtfulness, spontaneity, delicacy, taste, style, expressive sense of melody, an innate sense of character, drama, humor, and poetry. There are so many other great singers, great sopranos, great coloraturas -- but none match Sills' ability in her prime to make it all come together in an inexplicable divine musical alchemy.
The pull quote that appeared on the sultry promotional photo of Sills as Thais in the Angel LP recording has always stayed with me because it rang so true. Washington Post critic Paul Hume wrote that she was "the dazzling irresistible embodiment of the total joy of singing."
Date: 7/4/2007, 10:16 am, EDT
Name: Miriam Linkimer
Location: Vienna, Austria
I was shocked to hear the news of the passing of Beverly Sills on the radio this morning here in Vienna, Austria. As a young American Opera Singer, Miss Sills has always been one of my great idols. As a Jewish singer, we have all been so proud to call her our own and to feel like we know her.
I started my singing career after attending Indiana University School of Music by auditioning for the Houston Grand Opera Chorus, and to my surprise I was accepted. It was invaluable experience for me to work with the great singers and conductors of the New York City Opera who came to the Houston Opera as guest artists. When I heard that Miss Sills will be starring in La Traviata, I couldn't believe that I would be standing on the same stage with her. Everyone in the chorus was nervous to meet such a great Star, and when she came to the first rehearsal dressed in a comfortable dress and shoes....she turned to the chorus immediately and said Hi to all of us. That is someething that I will never forget....her warmth and friendship reached out to all of us.
At our first dress rehearsal, she saw me wearing a beautiful red dress in the third act, and during our break, she came up to me and told me that Kitty Carlyle wore my dress at the Met, and she gave me a big smile. On Opening Night, I brought Miss Sills a rose to her dressing room. Not wanting to bother her, I thought I'd just hand it to her assistant. She came to the door and asked me my name. I said, "I'm Miriam, Miss Sills." She gave me a big smile and said...."My middle name is Miriam.....I'm Miriam too!" and gave me a big wink. She knew immediately that I am also Jewish, and during the rest of the performances we talked a little and she was so kind to let me have someone take a picture of us together. I treasure this picture, and it has been a great pride to my family to see me together with the great Beverly Sills.
I sang in the States for a while before coming to Europe, and after I started singing over here, I wrote to her at the New Youk City Opera telling her that I'm the Jewish girl from the Houston Opera who is singing in Austria. She wrote me such a nice letter....another treasure. I wish that I would have been able to go back to New York to sing for her, but I know that her thoughts and good wishes were with me. My deepest sympathy to the family of Beverly Sills......a woman who was and always be a great inspiration to me. my love to all of you. Miriam Linkimer
Date: 7/4/2007, 8:50 am, EDT
Name: Mike Waltenberger
Location: Forsyth, IL USA
We shall never forget her voice, her smile and her radiance. Beverly has been the First Lady of Opera for decades and her impact will live on, not only in the accomplishments she leaves behind, but in the hearts of all of us who loved and admired her. God's comfort and peace to you all in your grief.
Date: 7/4/2007, 8:22 am, EDT
Name: Clément Taillia
Location: Brest, France
Farewell, beautifull Beverly Sills. Your incredible talent, and your single personnality will miss us. Your voice will resound a long time in the skies, at the sides of most beautiful.
Date: 7/4/2007, 8:02 am, EDT
Name: Constance Lipnick
Location: East Brunswick, NJ
My first real impression of Beverly Sills happened when I read her biography. After reading it ,I began noticing her on variety shows and on operas that were played on PBS where Ms. Sills would be host and interview conductors and singers with so much enthusiasm and love for Opera. You couldn't help but smile when she was on the televison and she really did get bubbly talking Opera. In her biography she openly discussed her children and their struggles to live in relative normalcy but she never made you feel sorry for her or her family. I came from a family where an accident in the hospital made my brother several retarded, so I could relate, and she like my Mother never comlained and only cried in private. Beverly Sills was an inspiration to me for rising above the pain to make the most of her life despite her difficulties. God bless Beverly Sills for all the joy she gave the world with her singing and love of the opera.
Date: 7/4/2007, 7:58 am, EDT
Name: Ron Runyon
Thank you, Beverly. I sadly had never gotten around to my age long intention of writing to thank you for the beauty and passion you brought to my life. The impression you made upon this young kid changed my world and shaped my artistic and cultural life. The beauty and passion of opera which you introduced me to has given my life it’s greatest joy, taught me other languages and taken me to foriegn lands to the great opera houses of the world. Never did I not think of you as I entered the historic houses, a world which you opened up to me… La Scala, StaatsOper, La Fenice … Your contribution to your art, was a contribution to the lives of so many, and I remain ever indebted for that gift. I will never forget you. Thank you, dear lady.
I met Beverly several times, sadly after her singing days, often at parties or fundrasing events … She was ever gracious and kind, treating you like you had been a neighboor for dozens of years. The exquisite beauty of her voice is second only to her beauty as a human being, someone we could all take lessons from … I recall once I was seated near Carol Burnett at a Tony party and decided to chat with her and ask her to dance. (Which she did!) .. not knowing what to say, I remember telling her that she had a friend who I just loved, Beverly Sills .. she squeezed my hands and gushed (even more than me), I JUST LOVE HER, TOO! I can easily see why the two of them were friends, two of a kind. Great ladys. My condolences and sympathies to your children and family, Carol, and all of us who feel as if they have lost a good friend.
Brava, Beverly ~
Date: 7/4/2007, 7:43 am, EDT
Location: Rome, Italy
Dear Muffy, dear Bucky,
May all our love and memories sustain you in this sorrowful time.
Your wonderful Mother will never die.
Date: 7/4/2007, 7:42 am, EDT
Just: Thank you Madam for all these beautiful moments.
Today the opera world is very lonely.
Date: 7/4/2007, 6:49 am, EDT
I discovered you in 1989 when I read your autobiography and spent many years looking for your recordings at a time when they were rare to find. Same for the videos of your performances. You were always one of my favourite singers and from your book one of my favourite personalities. You've had a fascinating but tough life and you deserve the rest. You've left us with memories of the best. Thank you. You are already missed...
Date: 7/4/2007, 6:32 am, EDT
Some 20 years ago, behind the Iron Curtin, I discovered an LP-set of La Traviata with Beverly Sills. I was a teenager with none whatsoever knowledge about opera, still the name rang familiar to my ears. I didn't understand much in the begining, but was absolutely thrilled by the wonderful finale of the first act. I listened to it for dozens of times, getting a deeper insight of a wonderful music and of a great voice. This recording was the start of a passion that would grow over the years and her voice never left my memory.
Today, after hearing a few hundred Traviatas, hers is still very special and in many ways unique, also like her Lucia or Elvira. Her Muppet-show was also among my favourites. Now, I feel that I will always be in debt to this wonderful woman for which no thanks and no praise could be enough. May God be with her!
Date: 7/4/2007, 6:27 am, EDT
Adieu à Vous Beverly qui avez été si magnifique dans tous vos rôles. Reposez en paix : vous resterez toujours auprès de nous et votre voix demeurera comme un témoignage de ce qu'est l'Art !
Date: 7/4/2007, 4:33 am, EDT
it is my turn tu sing to you: "RUHE SANFT, MEIN HOLDES LEBEN" from Zaide of Mozart, that you sung so wonderfully!
I hoped to have your signature on a gigantic photo of L'ASSEDIO DI CORINTO I bought in Milan (Archivio fotografico della Scala) many years ago...I will bring it to haven, because I will meet you. Rest in peace, beloved voice.
A mute adorer,
Date: 7/4/2007, 2:58 am, EDT
Location: Santa Fe, NM
I grew up being "allowed" to stay every time Bubbles was on TV - and that was a lot in the late 60's and 70's. What a pleasure it was for me to absorb Opera and the soul of the wonderful woman behind it as one - and to always make me enjoy the art - and long for the perfection and joy Bubbles allowed me to grow up with.
My heart is with all those who mourn.
Date: 7/4/2007, 2:45 am, EDT
Location: Milan - Italy
I never had the honour to meet or hear on stage Mrs. Sills, when she stopped singing I was 10. But I grew up with the recordings of Her wonderful voice and She will stay with me forever. "Passasti, al par d'amore che un giorno sol durò". May you rest in Peace and sing in Heavens.
Date: 7/4/2007, 2:33 am, EDT
Location: Los Angeles
I had the great honor to hear your Lucia with Pavarotti in San Francisco 1972. It was of course stunning.... I waited outside the stage door and you came out, wrapped up against the San Francisco fog, red hair flying carrying a bag of granola. No diva you - just a brilliant human being and a great singer! You will be missed Beverly Sills.... but your legacy will live on through all the work you have done on behalf of opera in America! You were the one to insist on supertitles and people laughed......
Thank you so much for your vision, your bravery and giving us your voice. Brava!!
Date: 7/4/2007, 2:16 am, EDT
Name: Audrey Maidoff-Silverman
Location: Sufern, New York
I first heard the golden voice of Beverly Sills on TV in my parents Bronx apartment all those many years ago. I did not realize that I was only ten years younger than she was at that time. I was studying voice and being groomed for the Opera and so moved by her full coloratura voice, musicality and superb technique. I later had the privelge of hearing her sing and speak and was enchanted by her personality and warmth.I fell in love with her charm and earthiness. I too had Romanian and Russian parents and a great love of music. I married a musician named Silverman and felt kinship with Beverly. I had a mezzo voice and secretly wished I could sing those frilly,intricate and dazzling
colortura arias, knowing full well that there could only be ONE Beverly Sills. Thank you for all the goose pimples Beverly, now sing for the angels.
The world has lost a great treasure.
Rest in Peace.
My sincere condolences to her family.
Date: 7/4/2007, 2:12 am, EDT
Name: Deiber Philippe
A very sad news for all the french fans !!! Miss Sills came very late in France (only for One Concert) it was such a success..For us she was the "only one" who was following Callas.But with another "voice" (more beautiful and more sure in the high tones)...We just had to see her Roberto Devereux to understand what an actress she was...Wa are all sad today
Date: 7/4/2007, 2:03 am, EDT
Beverly Sills is the reason that I, as a teenager, even attempted to understand opera! *smile* It was after an appearance with Carol Burnett, that I first became aware of her. I set out to learn everything I could about her and listen to any recordings.
Her singing is surpassed only by her incredible humanity.
My deepest sympathies to her family and friends.
Date: 7/4/2007, 1:35 am, EDT
Name: John Shimko
Location: Oakland, CA
Her death is a huge loss. I am deeply saddened. I send my deepest sympathy to her family. I've been a huge fan since my college days. I've listened to many of her audio and VCR recordings. I have always loved her talent, wit and ability to connect with people. I read her 1987 biography in 1990 when my own sister was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She was only 38. Fortunately, she is still alive today. I found comfort in Beverly's sharing her experience with ovarian cancer.
My favorite memory of Beverly being funny: Intermission in a Live from Lincoln Center broadcast of the Magic Flute (1987?) Lotfi Mansouri was teasing her about her own stint as the Queen of the Night. Beverly said of her memories.."Terrible! When I see that poor woman (Rosalin Rosales) batting out that aria... I used to tell Peter...ask them for more money and maybe they'll go away!" To me, this was typical of Beverly being down to earth. She brought a lot of joy to people in her life time. I truly thank the creators of this website for an opportunity to share our memories and to continue to listen and see Beverly in performance and interviews. She will definitely live on for many years to come.
Brava, Beverly! You lived a full life. You are now with your mother, father, husband, Estelle Liebling, Roland Gagnon and the many other people who you touched that passed before you. Rest in peace.
Date: 7/4/2007, 12:57 am, EDT
Name: Jerome Prince-Foster
Location: Sydney, Australia
What a loss to the opera world. A great lady, a great talent. Thank you Miss Sills for sharing your magnificent voice with us.
I remember standing opened mouthed staring at my speakers in my lounge room when I first heard "E Strano" from "La Traviata" on a cd I had bought. I said "This is my Violetta".... and you always will be.
Sleep well, dear lady. We will remember you with great fondness and much love.
Date: 7/4/2007, 12:56 am, EDT
Name: Paulette Blackman
Location: Peoria, AZ (former New Yorker)
Beverly Sills brought so much enjoyment to millions of people with her enormous talent. Rest in peace, Bubbles and thanks for all you've given us.
Date: 7/4/2007, 12:32 am, EDT
Name: Peggy Tag-von Stein
I grew up with Beverly Sills' marvelous singing: my sister would bring home every LP the public library had of a Sills performance and, after she had gone through them, would start all over again. With Beverly Sills, the listener was greeted with three kinds of beauty: the lovely voice, the moving music and, above all, the beautiful soul of a great and good lady.
Date: 7/4/2007, 12:23 am, EDT
Name: joseph richman
Location: east hartford connecticut
Beverly sills was somewhat a hero to my late mother who also passed on the 2nd of july. Both being Jewish girls from Brooklyn, Beverly was a source of pride and inspiration to my mother, Not simply for her wonderful voice, but in her dedication to her two children who had special needs. She would wonder if Beverly asked the same questions that she asked of her self in having to deal with a special needs child. I am partialy deaf from birth among other deficites. I am also one out of four siblings who has a great appreciation for opera.
Something my mother tried to instill in all of us and later in life found out that my father appreciated as a reminder of his fathers love for the opera.
For my late parents and myself, Thank you Beverly Sills.
Date: 7/4/2007, 12:20 am, EDT
Name: Sibyl Bansal
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
My first opera: Beverly Sills as the heroines in Hoffman. I was nine, and I was hooked forever after. I saw her again as Marie, and she was having a blast, so we, the audience, were too. Her Lucia, her Manon, her Violetta, on the Muppets and with Carol Burnett, all these are significant experiences of my life. I feel like some fabulous relative, someone I seldom see but still really love, has passed without my having said good bye.
Date: 7/4/2007, 12:20 am, EDT
Location: San Rafael California
Beverly Sills formed my opera experience in her glory days with the NY City Opera when it would come annually to Los Angeles. There she performed Manon, Lucia, the Three Queens, and many others. She brought life and sparkle, brilliance and humanity to the world of opera and the lives of many others. She was a leader of great stature for the music and opera world and will be most sorely missed but always remembered
Date: 7/3/2007, 11:55 pm, EDT
Name: Pam DeWeerd
Location: Stinson Beach, Ca.
We saw Beverly Sills at SF Opera and she was our favorite of all those years! My husband, Mel, was devastated when he heard that she died. He was a huge fan..had her CDs playing at all times in his car. We believe that she brought alot of people to opera because she was so down-to-earth. I remembered her only a short time ago commenting on the Met radio broadcasts in the intermission and she was so lovely and full of life. She will be deeply missed. We are thankful we still have her recordings!!
Date: 7/3/2007, 11:20 pm, EDT
Name: Miguel Patrón Marchand
Location: Santiago - Chile
From this place where she sang forty years ago and had one of her first great international successes, I remember her artistry, one of the most fabulous in all times, and the few but unforgettable list of characters I could applaud of her on stage: Manon (Buenos Aires, 1970), Lucia (id., 1972), Thaïs (San Francisco, 1976) and Norina (New York, 1979).
Thanks, Beverly, for your wonderful artistic message. Rest in peace. Brava! You did a perfect work and we will always remember you.
Miguel Patrón Marchand
Orchestra conductor and musicologist.
Date: 7/3/2007, 11:18 pm, EDT
Name: Dr. A. Newlyn
I first saw Beverly Sills on my parents' black and white television; I was 13. The next year I was extremely fortunate to see her perform at the Met in the Barber of Seville. Clutching the card she sent me inviting me backstage if ever I should make it from upstate NY to the city, I stood in a line of about 500 people waiting to see her. When I got to her, I was sobbing, as I fell in love with her, and with opera, and I could not believe that there she was, right in front of me, this woman I idolized so. And of course as someone who wanted to get younger people involved/interested in opera, she was, naturally, so gracious to this sobbing young teenager, so warm, so inviting. I didn't wash the hand that she held onto the entire time she was talking to me and my mother for a week. And now, some 23 yrs later, I'm weeping again, Beverly.
We will all miss you so dearly, especially me.
What you and your voice have meant to me over the years is simply something I could never begin to articulate. But I can say that my heart is breaking.
Date: 7/3/2007, 11:13 pm, EDT
Name: Susan Cooksey
Location: Denton, TX
For me, you were always the standard by which other singers were measured. We all fell short. I will always have a special place in my heart for you. Your talent, your humor, your grace, your work ethic, your commitment to your family and your profession -- all were monumental. There will never be another like you. God bless you.
Date: 7/3/2007, 11:07 pm, EDT
Name: Tim Kee
Location: Marion, Illinois
To me, as a child, Beverly Sills WAS opera. I am 42 years old, and she has always been what opera is. I remember watching her on television as a child, she was the first person I ever saw sing that way. When she recently hosted The View, it brought back so many memories for me. She is that old friend who melted the years away. Opera has lost its GREATEST talent. There was never anyone who did what she did to bring the opera to the average people, and there probably never be anyone like her. I hope she finds the adoration she had in this life in the next one.
Date: 7/3/2007, 10:55 pm, EDT
Name: David O. White
I recently was thinking how America seemed to have "forgotten" about their beloved soprano opera star Beverly Sills. I began looking for her recordings to listen to her singing again myself. I remembered the charm and humor she exuded, and that wonderful smile, when she would appear on television, bringing the beautiful and thrilling sound of the operatic vocal art into the homes of millions of viewers, with her wonderful voice. There was a certain "American" quality to her voice that made you understand she was singing with all her heart.
So many young sopranos, and other singers, looked to her as a "Star" and were inspired to be singers from hearing her singing. Recently, I began selecting songs for my own concert which I am preparing, and upon hearing some song recordings sung by Beverly Sills, my heart and soul was moved to sing two of these songs as well. Hearing her vocal skill and beautiful and sensitive interpretation of the songs took me to a place deep in my heart and soul and let my spirit soar free. This is what music and singing is about; using your vocal instrument to express the range of human emotion to effectively touch the souls of others.
Now, we are all brought to remember her, as her soul soars to the stars and we are left with the gift of being able to listen to her recordings and feel her spirit .... once again to be inspired and renewed.
Date: 7/3/2007, 10:37 pm, EDT
Name: G Bragg
Her talent was great and wonderful and we are richer for having her in the world. But what came to my mind immediately when I heard of her death was something I heard her say a long time ago in an interview, and it has stayed with me for all these years. She said something like "One doesn't always have to be happy to be cheerful." So many times I have thought of her words, and they have helped me in some trying times. She was a great lady. We will miss her. We will be sad, but we will be cheerful.
Date: 7/3/2007, 10:23 pm, EDT
Name: Kathryn Reid George
Location: Terre Haute, IN
BUBBLES - Indianapolis, Clowes Hall, October '86
I'll NEVER Forget.
Truly a bright light from here to heaven.
Blessings on her dear children.
Date: 7/3/2007, 10:11 pm, EDT
Name: terrence nixon
Location: redwood city, california
blessed be the heavens, the universe, that now wholly consumes such grace. blessed be the earth that was so wonderfully touched.
i am deeply saddened by Ms. Sills passing yet thankful to have heard her voice.
my warmest, sincerest regards to her family and those of intimate association.
Date: 7/3/2007, 10:05 pm, EDT
Name: Steve Charitan
Location: Hudson, Ohio
Though they sang in different repertories, Birgit Nilsson and Beverly Sills were giants of their profession in our time – and now both are gone. Both Nilsson and Sills have an advantage over fabled predecessors such as Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient, Jenny Lind, Amalie Materna, and Henrietta Sontag. We, and future generations, can turn on a recording and hear for ourselves with reasonable fidelity what all the fuss was about. Many of a certain age have already written that Sills was instrumental in launching their love of opera. So it was for me. As a young person I was caught by the sheer “in your face” brightness of the voice, and when I read the translations of what she was singing about I was easily caught up in the emotion of her art.
With that introduction, I’ll list my 10 favorites of what I consider to be Beverly Sills’ “Personal Best” in terms of her recorded legacy. Singing of this quality is not necessarily in order of rank:
Ballad of Baby Doe: “Always through the Changing…”
I’ve always thought of this as Baby Doe’s “Liebestod” and no Isolde could have delivered her final “Höchste Lust” as touchingly as Sills does her “Ever Young”
Ballad of Baby Doe: “Willow Song”
Sills conveys such a feeling of deep nostalgia in a character so young, while she herself was such a very young singer.
L’Assedio di Corinto: “Giusto Ciel”
The poise and elegance Sills displays captures all the pathos of this doomed, heroic woman (from the La Scala broadcast as opposed to the later commercial recording)
Giulio Cesare: “Non Disperar”
The wit and bite inherent in Sills’ delivery of this aria made Handel’s Cleopatra the sister to Congreve’s Millamant in “The Way of the World.” Her instincts in this role got her far closer to its essence than a whole army of early music scholars ever could have.
Maria Stuarda: “O nube, che lieve per l'aria”
Again, the nostalgia, but unlike Baby Doe’s, this is heavy with years of experience and suffering
Linda di Chamiounix: “O luce di quest’ anima”
If you ever wondered why she was nicknamed “Bubbles” the explanation is here.
Zaide: “Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben”
She could write a textbook on the art of piano singing. How gratefully it falls on the ears!
Manon: “Ah le beau diamant…”
This entire role is one of her best, but if you ever wondered why Des Grieux risked everything for Manon, you need only listen to how Sills delivers this line at the very end to understand all.
Roberto Devereux: Vivi Ingrato…Quel sangue versato
Sills ignores the natural limitations of her voice and its inherent bright color to deliver a portrait of Elizabeth I that is Shakespearean in its depth and intensity
Die Tote Stadt: Marietta’s Lied
Nostalgia again, but the sadness is shimmering with love
What have I missed or what am I missing?
Date: 7/3/2007, 9:59 pm, EDT
Name: Padma O'Mara
you had been such a wonderful mentor to my husband Stephen O'Mara through his New York City Opera times,and gladly you two met again after so many years in the green room of the MET only some month ago, chatting and joking. Thank you for everything, Beverly. You will always be in our hearts.
Date: 7/3/2007, 9:55 pm, EDT
Name: Ray Dobrovolsky
Location: New Jersey
I grew up with Beverly Sills, and can't believe it was 30 years ago when I first saw her perform. I had the pleasure meeting her at a fund raiser several years ago...she also sung with my voice teacher on many occassions. I'm very sad such a legend is gone, it's a sad reminder an era is over. God bless and keep her.
Date: 7/3/2007, 9:48 pm, EDT
Name: Adele Roberts
Location: Peapack, New Jersey
Just purchased her album" Welcome to Vienna "..Beverly Siles/Julius Rudel. The whole world and I are so sad to have lost her. My heartfelt sympathy to her family. Her singing and her personality was truly a gift to us all.
Date: 7/3/2007, 9:44 pm, EDT
Name: Victoria Stover
Location: Jefferson City Missouri
God needed you for a solo performance Beverly.
Date: 7/3/2007, 9:42 pm, EDT
i own several of ms. Sills' recordings and my favorites are her manon and traviata. she's a singing actress on the same level as maria callas, if without the tragedy that hounds a legend. still, ms. sills is a rarity among american artists who have made such an huge impact and helped make opera a bigger part of the cultural fabric. many thanks to you, and we'll miss you....
Date: 7/3/2007, 9:37 pm, EDT
Rest in peace, my queen of my queens.
Thanks for giving me the love of opera.
Date: 7/3/2007, 9:26 pm, EDT
Name: Jo Gilbert
Location: Menlo Park CA
We've lost an unique talent and person. My best wishes to Beverly Sills family.