The Silence is Deafening…

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Beverly Sills has died after a brutal illness at the age of 78.

No one would call her the greatest opera singer of her age, but she was likely the most beloved. Beverly Sills alone made opera palatable to the American mainstream and personifies the art for many Americans to this day. Following her stage career, she went on to lead the New York City Opera, Lincoln Center and finally the fabled Met.


Born Belle Silverman in Crown Heights to Jewish immigrants, her graciousness and personality touched several generations. She endured family tragedies and often scathing critiques to become a consummate American artist and opera legend.

Like many of my generation, I will always remember her first and foremost for her appearance on the Muppet Show, performing in Pigoletto with a stage full of swine while Miss Piggy directly parodied her famous portrayal of Cleopatra. Not many artists could be that confident or downright fun. It made us love her.

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She will be missed.

Watch Pigoletto HERE

Watch the final scene from Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment (WolfTrap, 1974) HERE

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4 Comments

  1. Nice tribute, thank you very much. I had heard she had been hospitalized, but hadn’t realized just how far down the road she was. What an amazing woman.

  2. Thank you for this post, Lord Bardhaven. Like you, I was first exposed to Ms Sills in childhood, not only on the Muppet Show, but also on several variety shows. She brought opera into the homes and lives of many of us. Indeed she will be missed.

  3. A sad day indeed. Like you, she was not my favorite, but her high spirits and her sense of fun carried over into everything she did. And she was so very patient with her fellow Americans, instructing us in the finer points of operatic appreciation.

  4. I am sorry to hear of this and remember this Muppet Show.

    Who knows what spark she lit in a child just from their seeing her do this…


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