Recently I listened to (and watched) a splendid performance of Beverly Sills (1929-2007) singing “O Luce Di Quest ‘Anima.” Listening to Sills’ performance made a sweltering hot day seem like springtime.
Sills’ obituary in the New York Times limned her as the “All American Diva” and said the acclaimed Brooklyn-born coloratura soprano was more popular with the American public than any opera singer since Caruso, even among people who never set foot in an opera house.
A must read for Sills fans is Beverly: An Autobiography that “details the private life and the career—as operatic star and as Director of the New York City – of the soprano and the impresario.”
1. The title in the first sentence is Italian for
A. I must sing because I must sing.
B. Oh for a thousand tongues to sing.
C. Oh, you are the radiance of my soul.
D. You are the life of my soul.
2. coloratura (cuh-luh-ruh-TOUR-ruh)
A. a multi-colored cloak
B. elaborate embellishment with a light agile voice
C. Enrico Caruso-like
No. 1 is C.
No. 2 is B.
3. impresario (im-pree-SAHR-ee-o)
A. an impressive vocalist
B. one who organizes and often finances concerts, plays, or operas
4. Beverly Sills’ nickname was
A. Faun (from Debussy’s ballet, The Afternoon of a Faun).
No. 3, impresario, is B.
Lastly, Beverly was given the nickname Bubbles during her stint singing laundry soap commercials on radio.