The Info List - Beverly Sills

Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
(born Belle Miriam Silverman, May 25, 1929 – July 2, 2007) was an American operatic soprano whose peak career was between the 1950s and 1970s. Although she sang a repertoire from Handel and Mozart to Puccini, Massenet and Verdi, she was known for her performances in coloratura soprano roles in live opera and recordings. Sills was largely associated with the operas of Donizetti, of which she performed and recorded many roles. Her signature roles include the title role in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, the title role in Massenet's Manon, Marie in Donizetti's La fille du régiment, the three heroines in Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann, Rosina in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Violetta in Verdi's La traviata, and most notably Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux. After retiring from singing in 1980, she became the general manager of the New York City Opera. In 1994, she became the chairwoman of Lincoln Center and then, in 2002, of the Metropolitan Opera, stepping down in 2005. Sills lent her celebrity to further her charity work for the prevention and treatment of birth defects.


1 Biography

1.1 Peak singing years 1.2 Later years and death

2 Voice 3 Operatic repertoire 4 Honors and awards 5 Recordings and broadcasts 6 Further reading/listening/viewing 7 References 8 External links

Biography[edit] Sills was born Belle Miriam Silverman in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York City, to Shirley Bahn (née Sonia Markovna), a musician, and Morris Silverman, an insurance broker.[1][2] Her parents were Jewish immigrants from Odessa, Ukraine (then part of Russia) and Bucharest, Romania. She was raised in Brooklyn, where she was known, among friends, as "Bubbles" Silverman. As a child, she spoke Yiddish, Russian, Romanian, French and English.[1] She attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, as well as Manhattan's Professional Children's School.[1] At the age of three, Sills won a "Miss Beautiful Baby" contest, in which she sang "The Wedding of Jack and Jill". Beginning at age four, she performed professionally on the Saturday morning radio program, "Rainbow House", as "Bubbles" Silverman. Sills began taking singing lessons with Estelle Liebling
Estelle Liebling
at the age of seven and a year later sang in the short film Uncle Sol Solves It (filmed August 1937, released June 1938 by Educational Pictures), by which time she had adopted her stage name, Beverly Sills. Liebling encouraged her to audition for CBS
Radio's Major Bowes' Amateur Hour, and on October 26, 1939 at the age of 10, Sills was the winner of that week's program. Bowes then asked her to appear on his Capitol Family Hour, a weekly variety show. Her first appearance was on November 19, 1939, the 17th anniversary of the show, and she appeared frequently on the program thereafter.[3] In 1945, Sills made her professional stage debut with a Gilbert and Sullivan touring company produced by Jacob J. Shubert, playing twelve cities in the US and Canada, in seven different Gilbert and Sullivan operas. In her 1987 autobiography, she credits that tour with helping to develop the comic timing she soon became famous for: "I played the title role in Patience, and I absolutely loved the character, because Patience is a very funny, flaky girl. ... I played her as a dumb Dora all the way through and really had fun with the role. ... My Patience grew clumsier and clumsier with each performance, and audiences seemed to like her. ... I found that I had a gift for slapstick humor, and it was fun to exercise it onstage."[4] Sills sang in light operas for several more years. On July 9, 1946, Sills appeared as a contestant on the radio show Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. She sang under the pseudonym of "Vicki Lynn", as she was under contract to Shubert. Shubert did not want Godfrey to be able to say he had discovered "Beverly Sills" if she won the contest (although she did not ultimately win). Sills sang "Romany Life" from Victor Herbert's The Fortune Teller. In 1947, she made her operatic stage debut as the Spanish gypsy Frasquita in Bizet's Carmen
with the Philadelphia Civic Grand Opera Company. She toured North America with the Charles Wagner Opera Company, in the fall of 1951 singing Violetta in La traviata
La traviata
and, in the fall of 1952, singing Micaëla in Carmen. On September 15, 1953, she made her debut with the San Francisco Opera
as Helen of Troy in Boito's Mefistofele
and also sang Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni
Don Giovanni
the same season. In a step outside of the repertoire she is commonly associated with, Sills gave four performances of the title role of Aida
in July 1954 in Salt Lake City. On October 29, 1955, she first appeared with the New York City Opera
as Rosalinde in Johann Strauss II's Die Fledermaus, which received critical praise. As early as 1956 she performed before an audience of over 13,000 at the Lewisohn Stadium with the noted operatic conductor Alfredo Antonini in an aria from Bellini's I puritani.[5] Her reputation expanded with her performance of the title role in the New York premiere of Douglas Moore's The Ballad of Baby Doe
The Ballad of Baby Doe
in 1958. On November 17, 1956, Sills married journalist Peter Greenough, of the Cleveland, Ohio, newspaper The Plain Dealer
The Plain Dealer
and moved to Cleveland. She had two children with Greenough, Meredith ("Muffy") in 1959 and Peter, Jr. ("Bucky") in 1961. Muffy (died July 3, 2016) was profoundly deaf and had multiple sclerosis; Peter, Jr. is severely mentally disabled. Sills restricted her performing schedule to care for her children. In 1960, Sills and her family moved to Milton, Massachusetts, near Boston. In 1962, Sills sang the title role in Massenet's Manon
with the Opera
Company of Boston, the first of many roles for opera director Sarah Caldwell. Manon
continued to be one of Sills' signature roles throughout most of her career. In January 1964, she sang her first Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute
The Magic Flute
for Caldwell. Although Sills drew critical praise for her coloratura technique and for her performance, she was not fond of the latter role; she observed that she often passed the time between the two arias and the finale addressing holiday cards.[6] Peak singing years[edit] In 1966, the New York City Opera
revived Handel's then virtually unknown opera seria Giulio Cesare
Giulio Cesare
(with Norman Treigle
Norman Treigle
as Caesar), and Sills' performance as Cleopatra made her an international opera star. Sills also made her "unofficial" Met debut in its " Opera
in the Parks" program as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, though nothing further came of this other than offers from Rudolf Bing for roles such as Flotow's Martha. In subsequent seasons at the NYCO, Sills had great successes in the roles of the Queen of Shemakha in Rimsky-Korsakov's The Golden Cockerel, the title role in Manon, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, and the three female leads Suor Angelica, Giorgetta, and Lauretta in Puccini's trilogy Il trittico. In 1969, Sills sang Zerbinetta in the American premiere (in a concert version) of the 1912 version of Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos with the Boston Symphony. Her performance of the role, especially Zerbinetta's aria, "Grossmächtige Prinzessin", which she sang in the original higher key, won her acclaim. Home video-taped copies circulated among collectors for years afterwards, often commanding large sums on Internet auction sites (the performance was released commercially in 2006, garnering high praise). The second major event of the year was her debut as Pamira in Rossini's The Siege of Corinth at La Scala, a success that put her on the cover of Newsweek. Sills's now high-profile career landed her on the cover of Time in 1971, where she was described as "America's Queen of Opera".[7] The title was appropriate because Sills had purposely limited her overseas engagements because of her family. Her major overseas appearances include London's Covent Garden, Milan's La Scala, La Fenice
La Fenice
in Venice, the Vienna State Opera, the Théâtre de Beaulieu
Théâtre de Beaulieu
in Lausanne, Switzerland, and concerts in Paris. In South America, she sang in the opera houses of Buenos Aires and Santiago, a concert in Lima, Peru, and appeared in several productions in Mexico City, including Lucia di Lammermoor with Luciano Pavarotti. On November 9, 1971, her performance in the New York City Opera's production of The Golden Cockerel was telecast live to cable TV subscribers. During this period, she made her first television appearance as a talk-show personality in May 1968 on Virginia Graham's Girl Talk, a weekday series syndicated by ABC Films. An opera fan who was Talent Coordinator for the series persuaded the producer to put her on the air and she was a huge hit. Throughout the rest of her career she shone as a talk show guest, sometimes also functioning as a guest host. Sills underwent successful surgery for ovarian cancer in late October 1974 (sometimes misreported as breast cancer). Her recovery was so rapid and complete that she opened in The Daughter of the Regiment at the San Francisco Opera
a month later.[8] Following Sir Rudolf Bing's departure as director, Sills finally made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera
on April 7, 1975 in The Siege of Corinth, receiving an eighteen-minute ovation. Other operas she sang at the Met include La traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, Thaïs, and Don Pasquale (directed by John Dexter). In an interview after his retirement, Bing stated that his refusal to use Sills, as well as his preference for engaging, almost exclusively, Italian stars such as Renata Tebaldi
Renata Tebaldi
due to his notion that American audiences expected to see Italian stars – was the single biggest mistake of his career. Sills attempted to downplay her animosity towards Bing while she was still singing, and even in her two autobiographies. But in a 1997 interview, Sills spoke her mind plainly, "Oh, Mr. Bing is an ass. [W]hile everybody said what a great administrator he was and a great this, Mr. Bing was just an improbable, impossible General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera.... The arrogance of that man."[9] Sills was a recitalist, especially in the final decade of her career. She sang in mid-size cities and on college concert series, bringing her art to many who might never see her on stage in a fully staged opera. She also sang concerts with a number of symphony orchestras. Sills continued to perform for New York City Opera, her home opera house, essaying new roles right up to her retirement, including the leading roles in Rossini's Il Turco in Italia, Franz Lehár's The Merry Widow and Gian Carlo Menotti's La Loca, an opera commissioned in honor of her 50th birthday. La Loca was the first work written expressly as a vehicle for Sills and was her last new role, as she retired the following year.[10] Her farewell performance was at San Diego Opera
in 1980, where she shared the stage with Joan Sutherland in a production of Die Fledermaus.[11] Although Sills' voice type was characterized as a "lyric coloratura", she took a number of heavier spinto and dramatic coloratura roles more associated with heavier voices as she grew older, including Bellini's Norma, Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia (with Susanne Marsee
Susanne Marsee
as Orsini) and the latter composer's "Three Queens", Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda
Maria Stuarda
and Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux
(opposite Plácido Domingo
Plácido Domingo
in the title part). She was admired in those roles for transcending the lightness of her voice with dramatic interpretation, although it may have come at a cost: Sills later commented that Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux
shortened her career by at least four years. Sills popularized opera through her talk show appearances, including Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, David Frost, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, and Dinah Shore. Sills hosted her own talk show, Lifestyles with Beverly Sills, which ran on Sunday mornings on NBC
for two years in the late 1970s; it won an Emmy Award.[12] In 1979 she appeared on The Muppet Show. Down-to-earth and approachable, Sills helped dispel the traditional image of the temperamental opera diva. Later years and death[edit] In 1978, Sills announced she would retire on October 27, 1980, in a farewell gala at the New York City Opera. In the spring of 1979, she began acting as co-director of NYCO, and became its sole general director as of the fall season of that year, a post she held until 1989, although she remained on the NYCO board until 1991. During her time as general director, Sills helped turn what was then a financially struggling opera company into a viable enterprise. She also devoted herself to various arts causes and such charities as the March of Dimes
March of Dimes
and was sought after for speaking engagements on college campuses and for fund raisers. From 1994 to 2002, Sills was chairwoman of Lincoln Center. In October 2002, she agreed to serve as chairwoman of the Metropolitan Opera, for which she had been a board member since 1991. She resigned as Met chairwoman in January 2005, citing family as the main reason (she had to place her husband, whom she had cared for over eight years, in a nursing home). She stayed long enough to supervise the appointment of Peter Gelb, formerly head of Sony Classical Records, as the Met's General Manager, to succeed Joseph Volpe in August 2006.

The tombstone of Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
in Kensico Cemetery

Peter Greenough, Sills's husband, died on September 6, 2006, at the age of 89.[13] They would have had their 50th wedding anniversary on November 17, 2006. She co-hosted The View for Best Friends Week on November 9, 2006, as Barbara Walters' best friend. She said that she didn't sing anymore, even in the shower, to preserve the memory of her voice. She appeared on screen in movie theaters during HD transmissions live from the Met, interviewed during intermissions by the host Margaret Juntwait on January 6, 2007 ( I puritani
I puritani
simulcast), as a backstage interviewer on February 24, 2007 (Eugene Onegin simulcast) and then, briefly, on April 28, 2007 ( Il trittico
Il trittico
simulcast). On June 28, 2007, the Associated Press
Associated Press
and CNN
reported that Sills was hospitalized as "gravely ill", from lung cancer. With her daughter at her bedside, Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
succumbed to cancer on July 2, 2007, at the age of 78.[14] She is buried in Sharon Gardens, the Jewish division of Kensico Cemetery
Kensico Cemetery
in Valhalla, New York. She was survived by her two children and three step-children from Peter Greenough's first marriage. Her daughter Meredith ("Muffy") Greenough died on July 3, 2016 in New York City. Voice[edit] Sills's voice has been described at the same time "rich, supple", "silvery", "precise, a little light", "multicolored", "robust and enveloping", with "a cutting edge that can slice through the largest orchestra and chorus," soaring easily above high C.[1][15][16] Her technique and musicianship have been much praised. Conductor Thomas Schippers said in a 1971 interview with Time that she had "the fastest voice alive."[15] The New York Times
The New York Times
writes that "she could dispatch coloratura roulades and embellishments, capped with radiant high Ds and E-flats, with seemingly effortless agility. She sang with scrupulous musicianship, rhythmic incisiveness and a vivid sense of text."[1] Soprano
Leontyne Price
Leontyne Price
was "flabbergasted at how many millions of things she can do with a written scale."[15] Her vocal range, in performance, extended from F3 to F6, and she said she could sometimes hit a G6 in warm up. Operatic repertoire[edit] These are the roles that Sills performed on stage or for television or radio.[17]

Composer Opera Role In repertoire Performed with Recorded

Bellini I Capuleti e i Montecchi Giulietta 1975 Opera
Company of Boston Yes

Bellini I puritani Elvira 1972–1978 Philadelphia Lyric Opera
Company, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Tulsa Opera Yes

Bellini Norma Norma 1972–1978 Opera
Company of Boston, Opera
Theatre of New Jersey, Connecticut Opera, Ravinia Festival, San Diego Opera, San Antonio Opera Yes

Bizet Carmen Frasquita 1951 Philadelphia Civic Grand Opera
Company No

Bizet Carmen Micaela 1952–1958 Charles Wagner Opera
Company, Robin Hood Dell West, Cosmopolitan Opera No

Bizet Carmen Carmen 1956 Musicarnival No

Bizet Les pêcheurs de perles Leila 1956 DuMont Television Network Yes

Boito Mefistofele Helen of Troy 1953 San Francisco Opera No

Charpentier Louise Louise 1962–1977 New York City Opera Yes

Donizetti Anna Bolena Anna 1973–1975 New York City Opera Yes

Donizetti Don Pasquale Norina 1978–1980 Opera
Company of Boston, Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, San Diego Opera Yes

Donizetti La fille du régiment Marie 1970–1977 Opera
Company of Boston, Carnegie Hall, San Antonio Opera, Philadelphia Lyric Opera, San Diego Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Edmonton Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, Opera
Memphis, Palm Beach Opera Yes

Donizetti L'elisir d'amore Adina 1964 Opera
Company of Boston No

Donizetti Lucia di Lammermoor Lucia 1968–1977 Fort Worth Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Edmonton Opera, Opera
Company of Boston, New York City Opera, Palacio de Bellas Artes, La Scala, San Antonio Grand Opera, Ravinia Festival, Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company, Covent Garden, Tulsa Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Mississippi Opera
Association, Zoo Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, New Orleans Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Seattle Opera, Teatro Colón, San Francisco Opera, Opera
Memphis, San Antonio Symphony, Florentine Opera, Opera
Omaha, Metropolitan Opera Yes

Donizetti Lucrezia Borgia Lucrezia Borgia 1975–1976 New York City Opera Yes

Donizetti Maria Stuarda Maria Stuarda 1972–1974 New York City Opera Yes

Donizetti Roberto Devereux Elizabeth I 1970–1975 New York City Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Wolf Trap Opera Yes

Gounod Faust Marguerite 1963–1970 Boston Opera
Group, New York City Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Orlando Opera, San Antonio Grand Opera
Festival, Duluth Symphony Orchestra Yes

Handel Ariodante Ginevra 1971 Kennedy Center Yes

Handel Giulio Cesare Cleopatra 1966–1971 New York City Opera, Teatro Colón, Cincinnati May Festival Yes

Handel Semele Semele 1967–1969 Cleveland Orchestra, Caramoor Festival Yes

Hanson Merry Mount Lady Marigold Sandys 1964 San Antonio Symphony No

Hindemith Hin und zurück Helene 1965 WGBH-TV Yes

Kálmán Countess Maritza Countess Mariza 1946 Hartman Theatre in Columbus, Ohio No

Lehár The Merry Widow Sonia 1956–1965 Musicarnival, New York City Opera, Casa Mañana, Robin Hood Dell No

Lehár The Merry Widow Hanna Glawari 1977–1979 San Diego Opera, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera Yes

Leoncavallo Pagliacci Nedda 1965 Fort Worth Opera No

Massenet Manon Manon 1953–1978 Baltimore Opera
Company, New York City Opera, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Teatro Colón, San Francisco Opera, Opera
Company of Philadelphia Yes

Massenet Thaïs Thaïs 1954–1978 DuMont Television Network, San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera Yes

Menotti La Loca Juana La Loca 1979 San Diego Opera, New York City Opera Yes

Meyerbeer Les Huguenots Marguerite 1969 Carnegie Hall Yes

Montemezzi L'amore dei tre re Fiora 1956 Philadelphia Grand Opera
Company No

Moore The Ballad of Baby Doe Baby Doe 1958–1969 New York City Opera, Musicarnival Yes

Moore The Wings of the Dove Milly Theale 1962 New York City Opera No

Mozart Der Schauspieldirektor Madame Goldentrill 1956 New York City Opera No

Mozart Die Entführung aus dem Serail Konstanze 1965–1975 Boston Opera
Group, New York City Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Grant Park, Tanglewood Music Festival, Frederic R. Mann Auditorium, Ravinia Festival Yes

Mozart Die Zauberflöte Queen of the Night 1964–1967 Boston Opera
Group, Théâtre de Beaulieu, Tanglewood Music Festival, Houston Grand Opera, Vienna State Opera, New York City Opera, CBC Radio Yes

Mozart Don Giovanni Donna Elvira 1953–1955 San Francisco Opera, Chattanooga Opera
Association No

Mozart Don Giovanni Donna Anna 1963–1967 New York City Opera, Opera
Company of Boston, Metropolitan Opera, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Théâtre de Beaulieu, Baltimore Opera Company Yes

Mozart Le nozze di Figaro Countess 1965 Miami Opera No

Nono Intolleranza 1960 The Companion 1965 Opera
Company of Boston Yes

Offenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann Three Heroines 1964–1973 New Orleans Opera, Grant Park, Opera
Company of Boston, Cincinnati Opera, New York City Opera, Baltimore Opera
Company, Palacio de Bellas Artes, San Antonio Grand Opera, San Antonio Symphony, Shreveport Opera, Municipal Theatre of Santiago, San Diego Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Florida Symphony Yes

Puccini La bohème Musetta 1958–1963 Cosmopolitan Opera, New York City Opera No

Puccini La bohème Mimi 1965 Seattle Opera No

Puccini Gianni Schicchi Lauretta 1967 New York City Opera Yes

Puccini Suor Angelica Suor Angelica 1967 New York City Opera Yes

Puccini Il tabarro Giorgetta 1967 New York City Opera Yes

Puccini Tosca Tosca 1957–1960 Murrah High School Auditorium for the Jackson Opera
Guild, Musicarnival No

Rameau Hippolyte et Aricie Aricie 1966 Opera
Company of Boston Yes

Rimsky-Korsakov Le Coq d'Or Queen Shemakha 1967–1971 New York City Opera Yes

Romberg The Student Prince Kathie 1954 Chicago Theater of the Air Yes

Rossini The Barber of Seville Rosina 1974–1980 Opera
Company of Boston, San Antonio Symphony, New York City Opera, Kennedy Center, Fort Worth Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Festival Internacional Cervantino, Robin Hood Dell Yes

Rossini Il turco in Italia Fiorilla 1978–1979 New York City Opera Yes

Rossini The Siege of Corinth Pamira 1969–1976 La Scala, Metropolitan Opera Yes

Johann Strauss II Die Fledermaus Rosalinda 1955–1980 Musicarnival, New York City Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opera
Company of Boston Yes

Johann Strauss II Die Fledermaus Adele 1977–1980 New York City Opera, San Diego Opera Yes

Richard Strauss Ariadne auf Naxos
Ariadne auf Naxos
(original version) Zerbinetta 1969 Boston Symphony Orchestra Yes

Richard Strauss Elektra Fifth Maidservant 1953 San Francisco Opera No

Sullivan H.M.S. Pinafore Josephine 1945 Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island
at the Metropolitan Theater and Hartford, Connecticut at the Bushnell Memorial Auditorium No

Sullivan The Pirates of Penzance Mabel 1945 Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut
at the Bushnell Memorial Auditorium No

Suppé Die schöne Galathée Galatea 1965 Fort Worth Opera No

Tchaikovsky Cherevichki
(performed under the title The Golden Slipper) Oxana 1955 New York City Opera No

Thomas Mignon Philine 1956 New York City Opera No

Verdi Aida Aida 1954–1960 University of Utah
University of Utah
football stadium, Paterson, New Jersey, Central City Opera Yes

Verdi La traviata Violetta 1951–1977 Kingston High School, Charleston Municipal Auditorium, Orlando Municipal Auditorium, Saenger Theatre, Duke University, Academy of Music, Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, Portland Civic Opera
Association, DuMont Television Network, New York City Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Tulsa Opera, Cincinnati Opera, San Antonio Symphony, Grant Park, Teatro di San Carlo, Connecticut Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Opera
Company of Boston, La Fenice, San Antonio Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Ravinia Festival, Palm Beach Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Wolf Trap Opera Company, San Diego Opera Yes

Verdi Rigoletto Gilda 1957–1977 Grant Park, Opera
Company of Boston Yes

Wagner Die Walküre Gerhilde 1953 San Francisco Opera No

Weisgall Six Characters in Search of an Author Coloratura 1959–1960 New York City Opera Yes

Honors and awards[edit] Sills received many honors and awards from the 1970s through her final years. Here are a list of her major awards, divided by category:

Grammy Award
Grammy Award

1969 – Scenes and Arias from French Opera 1970 – Mozart and Strauss Arias 1976 – Music of Victor Herbert
Victor Herbert

Emmy Award
Emmy Award

1975 – Profile in Music: Beverly Sills, Festival '75 (winner) 1977 – Sills and Burnett at the Met 1978 – Lifestyles with Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
(winner) 1980 – Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
in Concert 1981 – Great Performances: Beverly! (her farewell performance)

Honorary doctorates in music:

1972 – Temple University 1973 – New York University and New England Conservatory of Music 1974 – Harvard University 1975 – California Institute of the Arts

Other music-related awards:

1970 – Musical America – Musician of the Year 1971 – Inducted as a National Patroness of Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity on May 1[18] 1972 – Edison Award
Edison Award
recording 1973 – Handel Medallion from New York City for artistic achievement 1979 – Recording Industry of America Cultural Award 1980 – Golden Baton, American Symphony Orchestra League 1985 – Kennedy Center
Kennedy Center
Honors 1990 – National Medal of Arts
National Medal of Arts
from National Endowment for the Arts 1996 – The 2nd Annual Heinz Award
Heinz Award
in Arts and Humanities[19] 2005 – Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
Artist Award established by the Metropolitan Opera
($50,000 annual award) 2007 – Inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame

Charitable and humanitarian awards:

1979 – Pearl S. Buck
Pearl S. Buck
Women's Award 1980 – Presidential Medal of Freedom 1981 – Barnard College
Barnard College
Medal of Distinction 1984 – Charles S. Hughes Gold Medal Award – National Conference of Christians and Jews 1985 – Gold Medal from National Institute of Social Sciences

Sills was a member of the Delta Sigma Theta
Delta Sigma Theta
sorority.[20] Recordings and broadcasts[edit] During her operatic career, Sills recorded eighteen full-length operas:

The Ballad of Baby Doe
The Ballad of Baby Doe
(Bible, Cassel; Buckley, 1959) Giulio Cesare
Giulio Cesare
(Wolff, Forrester, Treigle; Rudel, 1967) Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux
(Wolff, Ilosfalvy, Glossop; Mackerras, 1969) Lucia di Lammermoor
Lucia di Lammermoor
(Bergonzi, Cappuccilli, Díaz; Schippers, 1970) Manon
(Gedda, Souzay, Bacquier; Rudel, 1970) La traviata
La traviata
(Gedda, Panerai; Ceccato, 1971) Maria Stuarda
Maria Stuarda
(Farrell, Burrows, L.Quilico; Ceccato, 1971) The Tales of Hoffmann
The Tales of Hoffmann
(Marsee, Burrows, Treigle; Rudel, 1972) Anna Bolena
Anna Bolena
(Verrett, Burrows, Plishka; Rudel, 1972) I puritani
I puritani
(Gedda, L.Quilico, Plishka; Rudel, 1973) Norma (Verrett, di Giuseppe, Plishka; Levine, 1973) The Siege of Corinth (Verrett, Theyard, Díaz; Schippers, 1974) Il barbiere di Siviglia (Barbieri, Gedda, Milnes, Raimondi; Levine, 1974–75) I Capuleti e i Montecchi
I Capuleti e i Montecchi
(Baker, Gedda, Herincx, Lloyd; G.Patanè, 1975) Thaïs (Gedda, Milnes; Maazel, 1976) Louise (Gedda, van Dam; Rudel, 1977) Don Pasquale
Don Pasquale
(Kraus, Titus, Gramm; Caldwell, 1978) Rigoletto
(M.Dunn, Kraus, Milnes, Ramey; Rudel, 1978)

Sills also recorded nine solo recital albums of arias and songs, and was soprano soloist on a 1967 recording of Mahler's Symphony No. 2. She starred in eight opera productions televised on PBS
and several more on other public TV systems. She participated in such TV specials as A Look-in at the Met with Danny Kaye
Danny Kaye
in 1975, Sills and Burnett at the Met, with Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett
in 1976, and Profile in Music, which won an Emmy Award
Emmy Award
for its showing in the US in 1975, although it had been recorded in England in 1971. Some of those televised performances have been commercially distributed on videotape and DVD:

Ariadne auf Naxos
Ariadne auf Naxos
(Watson, Nagy; Leinsdorf, 1969) [Concert Version] La fille du régiment
La fille du régiment
(Costa-Greenspon, McDonald, Malas; Wendelken-Wilson, Mansouri, 1974) Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux
(Marsee, Alexander, Fredricks; Rudel, Capobianco, 1975) La traviata
La traviata
(H.Price, Fredricks; Rudel, Capobianco, 1976) Il barbiere di Siviglia (H.Price, Titus, Gramm, Ramey; Caldwell, Caldwell, 1976) Manon
(H.Price, Fredricks, Ramey; Rudel, Capobianco, 1977)

Others not available commercially include:

The Magic Flute
The Magic Flute
(Pracht, Shirley, Reardon; NN, NN, 1966) Le coq d'or (Costa-Greenspon, di Giuseppe, Treigle; Rudel, Capobianco, 1971) Die lustige Witwe (Titus; Alcántara, Capobianco, 1977) Il turco in Italia
Il turco in Italia
(Marsee, H.Price, Titus, Gramm; Rudel, Capobianco, 1978) Don Pasquale
Don Pasquale
(Kraus, Hagegård, Bacquier; Rescigno, Dexter, 1979)

After her retirement from singing in 1980 up through 2006, Sills was the host for many of the PBS
Live from Lincoln Center
Lincoln Center
telecasts. Further reading/listening/viewing[edit]

Sills, Beverly (1976). Bubbles: A Self-Portrait. New York: Bobbs-Merrill. ISBN 0-446-81520-9. A revised edition was issued in 1981 as Bubbles: An Encore. Sills, Beverly (with Lawrence Linderman) (1987). Beverly: An Autobiography. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-05173-3. Sills, Beverly (1987). Beverly Sills: On My Own. ISBN 0-553-45743-8. An audio book designated as a companion to Beverly: An Autobiography, with Sills speaking in interview about her life, interspersed with narration and live musical excerpts. There is no direct text from the printed autobiography. Paolucci, Bridget (1990). Beverly Sills. New York: Chelsea House Publishers. ISBN 1-55546-677-X. Sargeant, Withrop (1973). Divas. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan. ISBN 0-698-10489-7. Beverly Sills: Made in America (2006). Deutsche Grammophon B0007999-09. A 90-minute documentary on Sills's singing career with many rare video performance and interview clips. Guy, Nancy (2015). "The Magic of Beverly Sills". Urbana, Chicago: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-03973-7.


^ a b c d e Tommasini, Anthony (July 3, 2007). "Beverly Sills, All-American Diva, Is Dead at 78". The New York Times.  ^ " Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
Biography (1929–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  ^ The dates of the first Bowes appearances are incorrect in most printed sources about Sills. ^ Sills (1987), Beverly: An Autobiography, pp. 29–32 ^ The New York Times, July 9, 1956, p. 26 ^ Sills (1976) Bubbles: A Self-Portrait, p. 98 ^ Time Magazine, 22 November 1971 ^ Sills (1987) Beverly: An Autobiography, pp. 256–258 ^ Strange Child of Chaos: Norman Treigle
Norman Treigle
(pp. 176–177), by Brian Morgan, iUniverse, 2006. ^ Rich, Alan (June 25, 1979). "Opera: No Reign in Spain". New York Magazine. Retrieved 17 February 2015.  ^ Pasles, Chris (July 3, 2007). " Soprano
brought opera home". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 February 2015.  ^ Tommasini, Anthony (March 20, 2005). "Wanted: A New Cheerleader for Opera". The New York Times. pp. 24AE.  ^ Staff (September 8, 2006). "Peter B. Greenough, 89, Former Columnist, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  ^ Feeney, Mark (July 3, 2007). "Beverly Sills, people's diva, dies". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  ^ a b c "Music: Beverly Sills: The Fastest Voice Alive". Time. November 22, 1971.  ^ "Music: Sutherland: A Separate Greatness". Time. November 22, 1971.  ^ " Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
Performance Annals". beverlysillsonline.com. 2008-09-21. Retrieved 2008-06-18.  ^ Delta Omicron In Memoriam Archived 2010-06-20 at the Wayback Machine. ^ The Heinz Awards, Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
profile ^ "Behind the Scenes" by Ethel Payne, Baltimore Afro-American, p. A5, April 22, 1989

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Beverly Sills.

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Beverly Sills

Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
Online: tribute site with discography, bibliography, photo gallery, sound and video clips, timeline, press articles and other resources. Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
at AllMusic Beverly Sills: Special
mother to the special children: summarizes Sills' charitable work for disabled children. Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
on IMDb Beverly Sills: National Women's Hall of Fame
National Women's Hall of Fame
profile Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
at BrainyQuote: quotations "Beverly Sills: Made in America", PBS
Great Performances Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
at OperaMom.com Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
at Find a Grave Sills at age 8, singing "Arditi: Il bacio" on YouTube The Essential Beverly Sills.

v t e

Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year


Gertrude Lawrence
Gertrude Lawrence
(1951) Barbara Bel Geddes
Barbara Bel Geddes
(1952) Mamie Eisenhower
Mamie Eisenhower
(1953) Shirley Booth
Shirley Booth
(1954) Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds
(1955) Peggy Ann Garner
Peggy Ann Garner
(1956) Carroll Baker
Carroll Baker
(1957) Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
(1958) Joanne Woodward
Joanne Woodward
(1959) Carol Lawrence
Carol Lawrence
(1960) Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda
(1961) Piper Laurie
Piper Laurie
(1962) Shirley MacLaine
Shirley MacLaine
(1963) Rosalind Russell
Rosalind Russell
(1964) Lee Remick
Lee Remick
(1965) Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
(1966) Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
(1967) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
(1968) Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett
(1969) Dionne Warwick
Dionne Warwick
(1970) Carol Channing
Carol Channing
(1971) Ruby Keeler
Ruby Keeler
(1972) Liza Minnelli
Liza Minnelli
(1973) Faye Dunaway
Faye Dunaway
(1974) Valerie Harper
Valerie Harper


Bette Midler
Bette Midler
(1976) Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
(1977) Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
(1978) Candice Bergen
Candice Bergen
(1979) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(1980) Mary Tyler Moore
Mary Tyler Moore
(1981) Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald
(1982) Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
(1983) Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers
(1984) Cher
(1985) Sally Field
Sally Field
(1986) Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
(1987) Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball
(1988) Kathleen Turner
Kathleen Turner
(1989) Glenn Close
Glenn Close
(1990) Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton
(1991) Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
(1992) Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg
(1993) Meg Ryan
Meg Ryan
(1994) Michelle Pfeiffer
Michelle Pfeiffer
(1995) Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon
(1996) Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts
(1997) Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver
(1998) Goldie Hawn
Goldie Hawn
(1999) Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis


Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore
(2001) Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker
(2002) Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston
(2003) Sandra Bullock
Sandra Bullock
(2004) Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones
(2005) Halle Berry
Halle Berry
(2006) Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson
(2007) Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron
(2008) Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger
(2009) Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway
(2010) Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore
(2011) Claire Danes
Claire Danes
(2012) Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard
(2013) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(2014) Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler
(2015) Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington
(2016) Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer
(2017) Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis

v t e

Kennedy Center
Kennedy Center
Honorees (1980s)


Leonard Bernstein James Cagney Agnes de Mille Lynn Fontanne Leontyne Price


Count Basie Cary Grant Helen Hayes Jerome Robbins Rudolf Serkin


George Abbott Lillian Gish Benny Goodman Gene Kelly Eugene Ormandy


Katherine Dunham Elia Kazan Frank Sinatra James Stewart Virgil Thomson


Lena Horne Danny Kaye Gian Carlo Menotti Arthur Miller Isaac Stern


Merce Cunningham Irene Dunne Bob Hope Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner
& Frederick Loewe Beverly Sills


Lucille Ball Hume Cronyn
Hume Cronyn
& Jessica Tandy Yehudi Menuhin Antony Tudor Ray Charles


Perry Como Bette Davis Sammy Davis Jr. Nathan Milstein Alwin Nikolais


Alvin Ailey George Burns Myrna Loy Alexander Schneider Roger L. Stevens


Harry Belafonte Claudette Colbert Alexandra Danilova Mary Martin William Schuman

Complete list 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s

v t e

Inductees to the National Women's Hall of Fame



Jane Addams Marian Anderson Susan B. Anthony Clara Barton Mary McLeod Bethune Elizabeth Blackwell Pearl S. Buck Rachel Carson Mary Cassatt Emily Dickinson Amelia Earhart Alice Hamilton Helen Hayes Helen Keller Eleanor Roosevelt Florence Sabin Margaret Chase Smith Elizabeth Cady Stanton Helen Brooke Taussig Harriet Tubman


Abigail Adams Margaret Mead Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias


Dorothea Dix Juliette Gordon Low Alice Paul Elizabeth Bayley Seton



Margaret Sanger Sojourner Truth


Carrie Chapman Catt Frances Perkins


Belva Lockwood Lucretia Mott


Mary "Mother" Harris Jones Bessie Smith


Barbara McClintock Lucy Stone Harriet Beecher Stowe


Gwendolyn Brooks Willa Cather Sally Ride Ida B. Wells-Barnett



Margaret Bourke-White Barbara Jordan Billie Jean King Florence B. Seibert


Gertrude Belle Elion


Ethel Percy Andrus Antoinette Blackwell Emily Blackwell Shirley Chisholm Jacqueline Cochran Ruth Colvin Marian Wright Edelman Alice Evans Betty Friedan Ella Grasso Martha Wright Griffiths Fannie Lou Hamer Dorothy Height Dolores Huerta Mary Jacobi Mae Jemison Mary Lyon Mary Mahoney Wilma Mankiller Constance Baker Motley Georgia O'Keeffe Annie Oakley Rosa Parks Esther Peterson Jeannette Rankin Ellen Swallow Richards Elaine Roulet Katherine Siva Saubel Gloria Steinem Helen Stephens Lillian Wald Madam C. J. Walker Faye Wattleton Rosalyn S. Yalow Gloria Yerkovich


Bella Abzug Ella Baker Myra Bradwell Annie Jump Cannon Jane Cunningham Croly Catherine East Geraldine Ferraro Charlotte Perkins Gilman Grace Hopper Helen LaKelly Hunt Zora Neale Hurston Anne Hutchinson Frances Wisebart Jacobs Susette La Flesche Louise McManus Maria Mitchell Antonia Novello Linda Richards Wilma Rudolph Betty Bone Schiess Muriel Siebert Nettie Stevens Oprah Winfrey Sarah Winnemucca Fanny Wright


Virginia Apgar Ann Bancroft Amelia Bloomer Mary Breckinridge Eileen Collins Elizabeth Hanford Dole Anne Dallas Dudley Mary Baker Eddy Ella Fitzgerald Margaret Fuller Matilda Joslyn Gage Lillian Moller Gilbreth Nannerl O. Keohane Maggie Kuhn Sandra Day O'Connor Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin Pat Schroeder Hannah Greenebaum Solomon


Louisa May Alcott Charlotte Anne Bunch Frances Xavier Cabrini Mary A. Hallaren Oveta Culp Hobby Wilhelmina Cole Holladay Anne Morrow Lindbergh Maria Goeppert-Mayer Ernestine Louise Potowski Rose Maria Tallchief Edith Wharton


Madeleine Albright Maya Angelou Nellie Bly Lydia Moss Bradley Mary Steichen Calderone Mary Ann Shadd
Mary Ann Shadd
Cary Joan Ganz Cooney Gerty Cori Sarah Grimké Julia Ward Howe Shirley Ann Jackson Shannon Lucid Katharine Dexter McCormick Rozanne L. Ridgway Edith Nourse Rogers Felice Schwartz Eunice Kennedy Shriver Beverly Sills Florence Wald Angelina Grimké
Angelina Grimké
Weld Chien-Shiung Wu



Faye Glenn Abdellah Emma Smith DeVoe Marjory Stoneman Douglas Mary Dyer Sylvia A. Earle Crystal Eastman Jeanne Holm Leontine T. Kelly Frances Oldham Kelsey Kate Mullany Janet Reno Anna Howard Shaw Sophia Smith Ida Tarbell Wilma L. Vaught Mary Edwards Walker Annie Dodge Wauneka Eudora Welty Frances E. Willard


Dorothy H. Andersen Lucille Ball Rosalynn Carter Lydia Maria Child Bessie Coleman Dorothy Day Marian de Forest Althea Gibson Beatrice A. Hicks Barbara Holdridge Harriet Williams Russell Strong Emily Howell Warner Victoria Woodhull


Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis Ruth Bader Ginsburg Katharine Graham Bertha Holt Mary Engle Pennington Mercy Otis Warren


Linda G. Alvarado Donna de Varona Gertrude Ederle Martha Matilda Harper Patricia Roberts Harris Stephanie L. Kwolek Dorothea Lange Mildred Robbins Leet Patsy Takemoto Mink Sacagawea Anne Sullivan Sheila E. Widnall


Florence Ellinwood Allen Ruth Fulton Benedict Betty Bumpers Hillary Clinton Rita Rossi Colwell Mother Marianne Cope Maya Y. Lin Patricia A. Locke Blanche Stuart Scott Mary Burnett Talbert


Eleanor K. Baum Julia Child Martha Coffin Pelham Wright Swanee Hunt Winona LaDuke Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Judith L. Pipher Catherine Filene Shouse Henrietta Szold


Louise Bourgeois Mildred Cohn Karen DeCrow Susan Kelly-Dreiss Allie B. Latimer Emma Lazarus Ruth Patrick Rebecca Talbot Perkins Susan Solomon Kate Stoneman



St. Katharine Drexel Dorothy Harrison Eustis Loretta C. Ford Abby Kelley
Abby Kelley
Foster Helen Murray Free Billie Holiday Coretta Scott King Lilly Ledbetter Barbara A. Mikulski Donna E. Shalala Kathrine Switzer


Betty Ford Ina May Gaskin Julie Krone Kate Millett Nancy Pelosi Mary Joseph Rogers Bernice Sandler Anna Schwartz Emma Willard


Tenley Albright Nancy Brinker Martha Graham Marcia Greenberger Barbara Iglewski Jean Kilbourne Carlotta Walls LaNier Philippa Marrack Mary Harriman Rumsey Eleanor Smeal


Matilda Cuomo Temple Grandin Lorraine Hansberry Victoria Jackson Sherry Lansing Clare Boothe Luce Aimee Mullins Carol Mutter Janet Rowley Alice Waters


Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 66653031 LCCN: n81021938 ISNI: 0000 0001 1573 2093 GND: 12335403X SELIBR: 280355 SUDOC: 115703209 BNF: cb13899775t (data) MusicBrainz: ccdacf81-4116-4555-a676-cd955736ce8b NKC: pna2005261960 BNE: XX4579409 SN