Beverly Sills - From First note to last

music room

These selections from live opera performances and recitals showcase Beverly Sills' wide range of roles and vocal categories, from coloratura fireworks to delicate lyricism to intensely dramatic characterizations. Most of these are from before 1974, after which Sills herself admits her voice suffered from taking on Donizetti's "Three Queens" and from her bout with cancer.

These live recordings, made under widely varying circumstances, do not have consistent sound quality and cannot compare to studio recordings. However, Sills' voice needed the space of the concert hall or opera house to make its full effect. Also, many live recordings exist from the 1960's, capturing her real prime, which is little represented in her commercial recordings.

To listen to these excerpts, please choose a category:

Music Room Players

Opera & Operetta

Total time = 17hrs 14 minutes
Total files = 158

Concert & Recital

Total time = 3hrs 44 minutes
Total files = 55


Total time = 1hr 57 minutes
Total files = 16

These are live vocal selections by Beverly Sills which fall outside the formal opera and concert stage categories. They include early radio appearances,  one-time gala performances and other unusual items.

Special Feature Players

Ten Best for Beginners

Total time = 1hr 20 minutes
Total files = 12

Because the many hours of audio clips on this website might be overwhelming to the Sills newcomer, we have asked John Carroll, creator of the web sites Vinyl Divas and found of the Yahoo Group Coloratura, to suggest ten clips that will give the listerner a quick introduction to what makes Sills unique.

In Her Own Words

Total time = 1hr 26 minutes
Total files = 19

"In Her Own Words" is a collection of audio excerpts from interviews with Beverly Sills on various radio and TV programs, including recital and radio broadcast intermissions.