Beverly Sills: Unforgettable Operatic Voice

Born May 25 was Beverly Sills*

Soprano with coloratura skills.

Gave opera buffs aesthetic thrills

When singing duets with Sherrill Milnes.

*About her voice (from Wikipedia):

“Sills 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.

Conductor Thomas Schippers said in a 1971 interview with Time Magazine that she had ‘the fastest voice alive’. The New York Times writes that ‘she could despatch coloratura roulades and embellishments, capped with radiant high D’s and E flats, with seemingly effortless agility’.

She sand with scrupulous musicianship, rhythmic incisiveness and a vivid sense of text. Soprano Leotyne Price was ‘flabbergasted at how many millions of things she could do with a written scale’.

Her vocal range, in performance, extended from F3 to F6 and she said she could sometimes hit G6 in warm-up.”


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  • Almost as good as Madeline Kahn's 'Sweet mystery of life'.

  • If your monitoring my comments it's one of the most cowardly things I've ever witnessed, I'll never comment again. It was nice meeting all of you, goodbye.

  • 4zen, I welcome and appreciate your comments. I don't monitor anyone's comments. I just respond to them.

  • I'm sorry, when I printed my first comment it said I was being monitored, please accept my humble apology.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    4zen, the software is fouled up again.

    I take it you were referring to the message that the comment was being held for approval. That seems to be generated any time the system is overloaded. In most cases, if you clear the browser and come back in a couple of minutes, the comment will be there.

    Personally, I don't care if someone is actively moderating a blog. I care (a) if the comment gets lost in the system without the message, or (b) I get the message but the blogger doesn't post the comment. It does, though, slow up the conversation if a blogger is trying to pursue a point that doesn't hold water IMO. For instance, I gave up one by someone who said that the IRS scandal was nothing, and didn't even get to apologize for misreading her bio in the right pane.

  • On the main topic, some of us know that her real name was Belle Silverman (or "Bubbles" Silverman).

    She probably was the only opera singer to make it in popular media, although the TV variety show is no longer with us. I guess the only modern standard of comparison is someone from American Idol.

    BTW, I've mentioned many times on chicagonow C.F.'s correct statement that "Wikipedia is not a source." Especially for someone as intelligent as you.

  • What would you call it? A source once-removed?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Somewhere between hearsay and fiction.

    I work on encyclopedias and recognize the difference between a primary and secondary source (and theoretically one isn't supposed to cite the secondary source). However, Wikipedia, while giving lip service to the theory that sources cited in its articles should be verifiable, leaves any semblance of authority to the mob, and of course, the biggest thug with administrator privileges rather than an editor rules.

    It is sort of like when I was in grade school and we were supposed to do a magazine report, and all that was in the classroom was Readers' Digest, those who said they read Readers' Digest got chewed out by the teacher, so I said I read Atlantic Monthly or whatever was the original source. However, on debate team, US News and World Report was gospel.

    Anyway, as a current example, I used Google to find the info on Reginas Vicky and Liz, but instead of taking the Wikipedia link off the top, I scrolled down until I found the monarchy's official one.

    And I doubt that in attributing various quotations to Arthur Conan Doyle, you used Cliff's Notes as a source (which was also banned in school).

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, your points are very valid and for me, in a sense, a wake-up call and reality check. In all honesty, I appreciate the constructive criticism. God knows, we all need some now and then.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Heck, I even dumped on Grimmy today. If you can't have fun with a comics character....

    But I figured out about 4 years ago that one can't correct the Internet. and that the State Farm commercial about the French model on the Internet (It must be true because it is on the Internet) was correct.

    In the meantime I have to respond to an e-mail from Mrs. Forsythe who says by the grace of Jesus, her late husband Forsythe just wants me to have her money, since she can't use it because she is dying of breast cancer. Just call a phone number with an African area code. ;-)

    Of course the response is that every e-mail program has a trash can.

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