Beverly Sills is best known for her soprano voice as an opera performer. After many successful decades, she made her debut with the Met in 1975.The decades between her first performance in 1947 for the Philadelphia Civic Opera and her debut for the Metropolitan Opera in 1975, saw her fame soar worldwide.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. -- Beverly Sills
Singer, opera star. Born Belle Miriam Silverman on May 25, 1929, in Brooklyn, New York. A gifted soprano, Beverly Sills was one of America’s most famous opera performers. At the age of three, she won a radio contest and soon began singing on the radio regularly as Bubbles Silverman. Sills studied opera with a voice coach as a child, and made her operatic debut in 1947 at the Philadelphia Civic Opera.
After years of trying, Beverly Sills achieved her dream of singing with the New York City Opera in 1955. She played the role of Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, earning strong reviews. After taking some time away from the stage to handle family matters, she returned stronger than ever in the 1966 New York City Opera production of Handel’s Julius Caesar. During the next few years, Sills became one of the most famous sopranos in the world with people flocking to see her perform.
In 1975, Beverly Sills performed for the first time at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. A few years later, as her voice had become to decline, she retired and took the reins of the New York City Opera. Sills worked to improve the institution’s financial situation and increased attendance.
During her long career, Beverly Sills received many honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980. She has written books about her life, including 1987’s Beverly: An Autobiography. She was married to journalist Peter B. Greenough from 1956 until his death in 2006. The couple had two children together. In her retirement, Beverly Sills continued a life of charitable work, notably as a longtime chairwoman of the board of trustees of the March of Dimes.
Beverly Sills, the acclaimed coloratura soprano, died on July 2, 2007 after battling lung cancer. She was 78.
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