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Beverly Sills

Academy of Achievement

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Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills

Beverly Sills

Academy of Achievement

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Beverly Sills (May 25, 1929 – July 2, 2007) was one of the beloved personalities in the history of opera, and one of the most important sopranos of the 20th century. Sills was born Belle Miriam Silverman, the daughter of an insurance company manager from Brooklyn. She was singing on the radio at the age of four, and, as a teenager, sang at luncheons and bar mitzvahs. By age 16, Sills was billed as “the youngest prima donna in captivity” with a touring operetta company. And, finally, at age 24, made her big-time debut with the San Francisco Opera, and two years later, after seven unsuccessful auditions, she joined the New York City Opera, where she launched one of the most dazzling singing careers in operatic history. Sills performed leading roles at the world’s great opera houses, from La Scala to Covent Gardens, while revolutionizing the opera scene and emerging as one of the biggest stars the United States has ever produced. She was hailed as “America’s Queen of Opera” and earned innumerable high honors, including the Emmy, the Grammy, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Kennedy Center Honor. After retiring in 1980, she became the general manager of the New York City Opera. In 1994, she was selected as Chairman of Lincoln Center and then, in 2002, of the Metropolitan Opera, before stepping down in 2005. Sills was also dedicated to charity work for the prevention and treatment of birth defects. Beverly Sills addressed the Academy student delegates at the 1989 Achievement Summit in San Francisco about life lessons and her long and illustrious career on stage.

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Beverly Sills

Beverly Sills (May 25, 1929 – July 2, 2007) was one of the beloved personalities in the history of opera, and one of the most important sopranos of the 20th century. Sills was born Belle Miriam Silverman, the daughter of an insurance company manager from Brooklyn. She was singing on the radio at the age of four, and, as a teenager, sang at luncheons and bar mitzvahs. By age 16, Sills was billed as “the youngest prima donna in captivity” with a touring operetta company. And, finally, at age 24, made her big-time debut with the San Francisco Opera, and two years later, after seven unsuccessful auditions, she joined the New York City Opera, where she launched one of the most dazzling singing careers in operatic history. Sills performed leading roles at the world’s great opera houses, from La Scala to Covent Gardens, while revolutionizing the opera scene and emerging as one of the biggest stars the United States has ever produced. She was hailed as “America’s Queen of Opera” and ...

12 MIN1989 JUN 24
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Beverly Sills
the END

Latest Episodes

Beverly Sills

Beverly Sills (May 25, 1929 – July 2, 2007) was one of the beloved personalities in the history of opera, and one of the most important sopranos of the 20th century. Sills was born Belle Miriam Silverman, the daughter of an insurance company manager from Brooklyn. She was singing on the radio at the age of four, and, as a teenager, sang at luncheons and bar mitzvahs. By age 16, Sills was billed as “the youngest prima donna in captivity” with a touring operetta company. And, finally, at age 24, made her big-time debut with the San Francisco Opera, and two years later, after seven unsuccessful auditions, she joined the New York City Opera, where she launched one of the most dazzling singing careers in operatic history. Sills performed leading roles at the world’s great opera houses, from La Scala to Covent Gardens, while revolutionizing the opera scene and emerging as one of the biggest stars the United States has ever produced. She was hailed as “America’s Queen of Opera” and ...

12 MIN1989 JUN 24
Comments
Beverly Sills
the END
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