Yesterday, coloratura soprano Beverly Sills passed away from cancer. She was one of the most beautiful people in the opera world. For many, she made the staid world of opera fun with her joyful spirit and beautiful smile.
It is hard to imagine the world without this beautiful lady in it.
Here is a small tribute to her work:
In 1966, Sills became a superstar after her portrayal of Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare at the New York City Opera. Here she is singing “Da tempeste”, one of the arias from the opera:
Another signature role for Sills was Rosina in Rossini’s “Il Barbieri di Siviglia” when coloratura sopranos performed the role. Here’s Sills singing ‘Una voce poco fa” from the opera:
Her joyful expression in singing this area has always made me smile!
Beverly Sills was also well-known for her portrayal of Manon in the opera of the same name by French composer Jules Massenet. Here she performs the beautiful aria “Adieu notre petite table”. Her emotional portrayal is stunning:
And this is why she was one of the great ambassadors of opera, because she was just real (and just plain fun!) An opera parody with the great Danny Kaye:
Rest in peace, Ms. Sills. You will be sorely missed. You have inspired me for years, and I will always be grateful.