Officially-Issued Studio & Live Videos

Donizetti, Gaetano (1797 – 1848)

DVD cover of Donizetti's La Fille du RégimentLa Fille du Régiment
Artists – William McDonald, Spiro Malas, Muriel Greenspon, Filene Center Orchestra & Chorus
Conductor – Charles Wendelken-Wilson
Date & Location
July 2, 1974, Wolf Trap Farm Park, Vienna, VA
Label & Catalog numbers
DVD 4212 – Video Artists International (VAI)
VHS 69071 – Video Artists International (VAI)

DVD cover of Donizetti's Roberto DevereuxRoberto Devereux
Artists – John Alexander, Susanne Marsee, Richard Fredericks, Filene Center Orchestra & Chorus
Conductor – Julius Rudel
Date & Location
July 27, 1975, Wolf Trap Trap Farm Park, Vienna, VA
Label & Catalog numbers
DVD 4204 – Video Artists International (VAI)
VHS 4204 – Video Artists International (VAI)

Hindemith, Paul (1895-1963)

DVD cover for Aaron Copland: Music in the 20’sHin Und Zurück (in the 3-disc set “Aaron Copland: Music in the 20’s”]
Artists – Davis Cunningham, Chester Ludgin, Raymond Michalski, James Billings
Conductor – Sarah Caldwell
Date & Location
July 12, 1965 – WGBH Studios, Boston
Label & Catalog numbers
DVD D4760 – Kultur

Massenet, Jules (1842 – 1912)

DVD cover for Massenet's ManonManon
Artists – Henry Price, Richard Fredricks, Samuel Ramey, Nico Castel, Robert Hale, New York City Opera Orchestra & Chorus
Conductor – Julius Rudel
Date & Location –
October 18, 1977, New York City Opera
Label & Catalog numbers
VHS 12701 – Bel Canto/Paramount

NOTE: This performance has never been officially issued on DVD but copies can be ordered from Premiere Opera (U.S.) – see “Additional Live Recordings Sources” in the menu.

Rossini, Gioachino (1792 – 1868)

DVD cover for recording of Rossini's Il Barbiere Di SivigliaIl Barbiere Di Siviglia
Artists – Alan Titus, Henry Price, Donald Gramm, Samuel Ramey, New York City Opera Orchestra & Chorus
Conductor – Sarah Caldwell
Date & Location –
November 3, 1976, New York City Opera
Label & Catalog numbers
VHS 12707 – Bel Canto/Paramount

NOTE: This performance has never been officially issued on DVD but copies can be ordered from Premiere Opera (U.S.) – see “Additional Live Recordings Sources” in the menu.

Strauss, Richard (1864 – 1949)

DVD cover for recording of Strauss's Ariadne Auf NaxosAriadne Auf Naxos
Artists – Claire Watson, John Reardon, Robert Nagy, Benita Valente, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Conductor – Erich Leinsdorf
Date & Location
January 7, 1969, Symphony Hall, Boston
Label & Catalog numbers
DVD 4363 – Video Artists International (VAI)

Verdi, Giuseppe (1813 – 1901)

DVD cover for recording of Verdi's La TraviataLa Traviata
Artists – Henry Price, Richard Fredericks, Filene Center Orchestra & Chorus
Conductor – Julius Rudel
Date & Location –
August 12, 1976, Wolf Trap Farm Park, Vienna VA
Label & Catalog numbers
DVD 4207 – Video Artists International (VAI)
VHS 69079 – Video Artists International (VAI)

Miscellaneous Videos

Deutsche Grammophon

DVD cover of recording Beverly Sills: Made in AmericaBeverly Sills: Made in America
Release Date (US) – November 21, 2006
Label & Catalog number
DVD 044007342992 – Deutsche Grammophon
Note –
This is the DVD version of the WNET/PBS program of the same title, first broadcast on Nov. 23, 2006. The 90-minute program consists of performances and interviews from across Sills’ singing career from 1936 to 1980. Included are a number of rare clips from such sources as the 1955 Opera Cameo “La Traviata,” the 1966 CBC “Magic Flute,” and the 1969 CBS camera Three profile, which featured Sills singing from “Julius Caesar” in her original NYCO costume. The DVD also include a bonus of the complete 1955 Opera Cameo production.

Kultur

DVD cover for recording Great Moments in Opera from The Ed Sullivan ShowGreat Moments in Opera from The Ed Sullivan Show
Conductor – Ray Bloch
Date & Location –
Sills segement telecast May 4, 1969; Ed Sullivan Theater, New York City
Label & Catalog numbers
DVD D2528 – Kultur
VHS KLT 2135V – Kultur (Vol I.)
Note –
Sills sings “O luce di quest’anima” from Donizetti’s Linda di Chamounix

DVD cover for video The Original Amateur HourThe Original Amateur Hour
Artists – The two DVDs includes over four hours of material from both the Major Bowes radio program and the the later Ted Mack TV show, including appearances by Robert Merrill, Maria Callas and Frank Sinatra.
Date & Location – Sills segment performed on the October 26, 1939 radio program (which she won).
Label & Catalog numbers – DVD D3138 – Kultur
Note –
The Sills segment includes the full interview and the finale of her performance of “Caro nome” from Rigoletto on the October 26, 1939 radio program (which she won). The audio is accompanied by photos of Sills with Major Bowes.

DVD cover for video ABC NEWS - One on One - Beverly SillsABC NEWS – One on One – Beverly Sills
Artists – Gret Jackson, Beverly Sills
Date of telecast – May 26, 1983
Note –
Correspondent Greg Jackson interviews Sills about her career and family, including a Muffy and Bucky. A thoughtful, rather serious look at her life  -22 minutes .

Charlie Rose, Inc.


These programs were originally available as DVDs are hard to find and are expensive. However, they can be viewed for free on the Charlie Rose website – www.charlierose.com

Cover for video of Charlie Rose ShowCharlie Rose Show – “A Conversation About Chinese and American Opera” – telecast July 21, 1997
Sills and soprano Ying Huang talk about the differences between Chinese and American opera, and also discuss Huang’s debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival (this is a 17-minute segment with a program that also includes interviews with money manager Jim Cramer and novelist Richard Ford)

Cover for video of Charlie Rose ShowCharlie Rose Show – “An Hour With Beverly Sills” – telecast of April 29, 2002
Sills speaks about her role as chairman of the Lincoln Center board and her career in general. A major section is devoted to her opening night in Roberto Devereux at New York City Opera.

Cover for video of Charlie Rose ShowCharlie Rose Show – “In Memoriam: Beverly Sills” – telecast of July 4, 2007
A retrospective of Sills’ career, shown two days after her death. Rose narrates the program, which is made up of clips seen in the “Made in America” program, plus excerpts of two previous Rose interviews with Sills on April 29, 2002 and July 21, 1997.

Time Life Video

DVD cover of video The Best of the Muppet ShowThe Best of the Muppet Show
Artists – DVD includes three programs with guests Tony Randall, Beverly Sills and Pearl Bailey
Conductor – Jack Parnell, Muppet Show Orchestra
Date & Location
Sills program telecast November 8, 1979; ATV Studios, Borehamwood, England.
Label & Catalog numbers
DVD V837-13 – Time Life Video
Note –
Sills sings a country & western song, does a tap dance, and participates in “Pigoletto,” an opera spoof in which she sings parts of “Sempre libera” and bits of Brunhilde.

Officially-Issued Studio & Live Audios

This listing contains all the officially released recordings Sills made of operas and recital albums. They were mostly recorded in the studio, but a few recorded live. Sills’ recordings were first issued on LPs, and most were later released on 8-track, cassette tapes and CDs. Although all the 18 complete operas have been released on CD, the recital albums have often been issued piecemeal on “Best Of” albums and other themed CDs. The information below attempts to identify the various ways in which the selections on those recital albums have been issued.

Note: Most of Sills’ CD issues are no longer in print. However, copies, both new and used, can be regularly found on Amazon, eBay, Discogs, and other sites that sell CDs. It’s best to compare prices across these sales sites, as the prices can vary widely. It’s also worth checking back on prices and availability from time to time, because additional copies often crop up in the meantime.

Operas

Bellini, Vincenzo (1801 – 1835)


Cover of Bellini's i Capuleti with Beverly SillsI Capuleti e i Montecchi
Artists – Janet Baker, Nicolai Gedda, Robert Lloyd, Raimund Herincx, John Alldis Choir, New Philharmonia.
Conductor – Giuseppe Patane
Date & Location – June 16-26, 1975; Abbey Road Studios, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 5-86055-2 – EMI Classics Gemini
LP SCLX-3824 – Angel Records

Cover of Bellini's Capuleti e Montecchi recordingI Capuleti e i Montecchi
Artists – Tatiana Troyanos, Joseph Evans, Herbert Beattie, Robert Trehy, Chorus & Orchestra of the Opera Company of Boston
Conductors – Sarah Caldwell, William Fred Scott
Date & Location – June 5 & 7, 1975; Boston, MA
Label & Catalog numbers
CD VAIA 1221-2 – Video Artists International

Note –
This live recording combines the best of the June 5 & 7 performances

Cover of Bellini's Norma recordingNorma
Artists – Shirley Verrett, Enrico Di Giuseppe, Paul Plishka, Delia Wallis, Robert Tear, John Alldis Chorus, New Philharmonia.
Conductor – James Levine
Date & Location – August 1973; All Saints Church, Tooting, London
Label & Catalog numbers:

CD 477 8186 Deutsche Grammophon
CD OPE-CD 1049/1050 EMI France (slightly abridged – missing 15 minutes in Act I)
LP AVC_34030 – Angel Records
LP ATS 20017 – ABC Audio Treasury

Cover of Bellini's I Puritani recordingI Puritani
Artists – Heather Begg, Nicolai Gedda, Riccardo Cassinelli, Louis Quilico, Richard Van Allan, Paul Plishka, London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Conductor – Julius Rudel
Date & Location – August 1973; EMI Studios, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 289 471 207-2 – Westminster : the Legacy
CD 3-80356 – Millennium Classics
LP AVC-34013 – Angel Records
LP ATS 20016 – ABC/Dunhill Records

Charpentier, Gustave (1860 – 1956)


Cover of Charpentier's Louise recordingLouise
Artists – Nicolai Gedda, Jose van Dam, Mignon Dunn, Martyn Hill, Chorus and Orchestra of Theatre de l’Opera de Paris.
Conductor – Julius Rudel
Date & Location – June 1977, Salle Wagram, Paris
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 5 65299-2 – EMI Angel
LP SCLX-3846 – Angel Records

Donizetti, Gaetano (1797 – 1848)


Cover of Donezetti's Anna Bolena recordingAnna Bolena
Artists – Shirley Verrett, Stuart Burrows, Paul Plishka, Patricia Kern, Robert Lloyd, Robert Tear, John Alldis Choir, London Symphony.
Conductor – Julius Rudel
Date & Location – August 1972; EMI Studios, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 289 465 957-2 – Deutsche Grammophon
CD 289 465 967-2 – Deutsche Grammophon (Three Queens box set)
CD 3-80355 – Millennium
LP ATS 20015 – ABC Records
LP AVC-34031 – Angel Records

Cover of Donezetti's Don Pasquale recordingDon Pasquale
Artists – Alfredo Kraus, Donald Gramm, Alan Titus, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, London Symphony.
Conductor – Sarah Caldwell
Date & Location – August 1,4,7, & 9, 1978; EMI Studios, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 5 66030 2 – EMI classics
LP SBLX 3871 – Angel Records

Cover of Donizetti's Lucia de Lammermoor recordingLucia Di Lammermoor
Artists – Carlo Bergonzi, Piero Cappuccilli, Justino Diaz, Adolf Dallapozza, Patricia Kern, Keith Erwen, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, London Symphony
Conductor – Thomas Schippers
Date & Location – August 1970; EMI Studios, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 289 471 250-2 – Westminster
LP ATS 20006 – ABC
LP AVC-34012 – Angel Records

Cover of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda recordingMaria Stuarda
Artists – Eileen Farrell, Stuart Burrows, Louis Qylico, Patricia Kern, Christian du Plessis, John Alldis Choir, London Philharmonic.
Conductor – Aldo Ceccato
Date & Location – June 1971; Concert Auditorium, Fairfield Hall, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 289 465961-2 – Deutsche Grammophon
CD 289 465 967-2 – Deutche Grammophon (Three Queens box set)
LP ATS 20010 – ABC
LP AVC-34032 – Angel Records

Cover of recording of Donizett's Roberto DevereuxRoberto Devereux
Artists – Robert Ilosfavly, Peter Glossop, Beverly Wolff, Kenneth MacDonald, Don Garrard, Gwynne Howell, Richard Van Allan, Amrosian Opera Chorous, Royal Philharmonic
Conductor – Sir Charles Mackerras
Date & Location – June, 1969; EMI Studios, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 289 465 964-2 – Deutsche Grammophon
CD 289 465 967-2 – Deutche Grammophon (Three Queens box set)
LP AVC-34033 – Angel Records
LP 323 – Westminster

Handel, George Frederic (1685 – 1759)


Cover of recording of Handel's Giulio CesareGiulio Cesare
Artists – Norman Treigle, Maureen Forrester, Beverly Wolff, Spiro Malas, Dominic Cossa, Michael Devlin, William Beck, Opera and Chorus of New York City Opera.
Conductor – Julius Rudel
Date & Location – April 28-May 2, 1967; Webster Hall, New York City
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 6182-2 – RG – BMG/RCA
LP LM/LSC 6182 – RCA Victor

Cover of recording of Handel's Giulio CesareGiulio Cesare
Artists – Norman Treigle, Peter Schreier, Maureen Forrester, Gui Gallardo, Franz Crass, Ricardo Yost, Orchestra & Chorus of the Teatro Colòn, Buenos Aries
Conductor – Karl Richter
Date & Location – September 21, 1968; Buenos Aires, Argentina
Label & Catalog numbers
CD VAIA 1184 – VAI

Cover of recording of Handel's SemeleSemele
Artists – Helen Vanni, Elaine Bonazzi, Seth McCoy, Ara Berberian, Cleveland Orchestra
Conductor – Robert Shaw
Date & Location – December 28, 1967; Severance Hall, Cleveland OH (live radio broadcast)
Label & Catalog numbers
CD MAA-40602; Musical Arts Association (part of a 7-disc set “The Robert Shaw Legacy”)

Lehar, Franz (1870 – 1948)


Cover of recording of Lehar's The Merry WidowThe Merry Widow
Artists – Alan Titus, Glenys Fowles, Henry Price, James Billings, David Rae Smith, New York City Opera Chorus and Orchestra.
Conductor – Julius Rudel
Date & Location – Feb. 1-3, 1978; New York City
Label & Catalog numbers
CD CDC-7 47585 2 – EMI Angel
LP AV-34081 – Angel Records

Massenet, Jules (1842 – 1912)


Cover of recording of Massenet's ManonManon
Artists – Nicolai Gedda, Gerard Souzay, Gabriel Bacquier, Nico Castel, Michel Trempont, Patricia Kern, Michele Raynaud, Helia T’Hevan, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, New Philharmonia.
Conductor – Julius Rudel
Date & Location – July 15-29, 1970; All Saints Church, Tooting, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD CMS 769831 2 – EMI
CD 289 474 950-2 – Deutsche Grammophon
LP ATS 20007 – ABC
LP AVC-34010 – Angel Records

Cover of recording of Massenet's ThaïsThaïs
Artists – Sherrill Milnes, Nicolai Gedda, Richard Van Allan, Ann-Marie Connors, Ann Murray, Norma Burrowes, Patricia Kern, Brian Ethridge, John Alldis Choir, New Philharmonia.
Conductor – Lorin Maazel
Date & Location – June 18-30, 1976; EMI Studios, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 5654792 – EMI
LP SCLX 3832 – Angel Records

Moore, Douglas (1893 – 1969)


Cover of recording of Moore's Ballad of Baby DoeThe Ballad of Baby Doe
Artists – Walter Cassel, Frances Bible, Grant Williams, Chorus and Orchestra of New York City Opera.
Conductor – Emerson Buckley
Date & Location – June, 1959; Manhattan Center, New York City
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 289 465 148-2 – Deutsche Grammophon
LP 2709 061 – Deutsche Grammophon
LP S3-GC-1 – MGM
LP HS 25035-5 – Helidor

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (1756 – 1791)


Cover of recording of Mozart's Die ZauberflöteDie Zauberflöte
Artists – George Shirley, John Reardon, Judith Raskin, Anne Elgar, Ezio Flagello, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Conductor – Erich Leinsdorf
Date & Location
August 6, 1966; Tanglewood Festival, Lenox, Massachusetts (live radio broadcast)
Label & Catalog numbers
Digital Media BSO Classics (no catalog # – was downloadable from the BSO website shop for a shot time)

Offenbach, Jacques (1819 – 1880)


Cover of recording of Offenbach's Les Contes d'HoffmanLes Contes d’Hoffmann
Artists – Stuart Burrows, Norman Treigle, Susanne Marsee, Nico Castel, Robert Lloyd, Patricia Kern, Raimund Herincx, Bernard Dickerson, John Noble, John Alldis Choir, London Symphony.
Conductor – Julius Rudel
Date & Location
July-August, 1972; EMI Studios, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 289 471 247-2 – Westminster
LP ATS 20014 – ABC records
LP AVC-34011 – Angel Records

Cover of recording of Offenbach's Les Contes d'HoffmanLes Contes d’Hoffmann
Artists – Andre Turp, Norman Treigle, Edith Evans, Michael Devlin, John West, Luigi Velluccci, New Orleans Opera Orchestra & Chorus
Conductor – Knud Andersson
Date & Location
Februrary 27, 1964, New Orleans, LA
Label & Catalog numbers
CD VAIA 1121- Video Artists International (VAI)

Rossini, Gioacchino (1792 – 1868)


Cover of recording of Rossini's Il Barbiere di SivigliaIl Barbiere di Siviglia
Artists – Sherrill Milnes, Nicolai Gedda, Renato Capecchi, Ruggero Raimondi, Fedora Barbieri, Joseph Galiano, John Alldis Choir, London Symphony.
Conductor – James Levine
Date & Location – August 1974 & May 1975; All Saints Church, Tooting, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 7243 5 85523 2 4 – EMI Classics Gemini
(issued Feb. 2004)
CD 7243 5 66040 2 5 – EMI Classics (issued in 1996)
LP SCLX-3671 – Angel Records

Note –
When EMI transferred the original LP recording to CD, they didn’t want to go to 3 discs, so they cut “A se e ver,” an aria from Rosini’s “Sigismondo” that Sills had interpolated at the end of the Bartlolo/Rosina scene before the Storm in Act II. The aria has not been re-issued on CD in any form, thus it is only available on the original LP recording. The CD issue also cuts Gedda’s aria and cabaletta, “Cessa di più…Ah, il più lieto,” as well as 4 minutes of recitative in other places.

Cover of recording of Rossini's L'Assedio di CorintoL’Assedio di Corinto
Artists – Shirley Verrett, Justino Diaz, Harry Theyard, Gwynne Howell, Robert Lloyd, Delia Wallis, Gaetano Scano, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra.
Conductor – Thomas Schippers
Date & Location – July & August, 1974; All Saints Church, Tooting, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 7 64335 2 – EMI Classics
LP SCLX-3819 – Angel Records

Verdi, Giuseppe (1813 – 1901)


Cover of recording of Verdi's La TraviataLa Traviata
Artists – Nicolai Gedda, Rolando Panerai, Delia Wallis, Mirella Fiorentini, Keith Erwen, Terence Sharpe, Richard Van Allan, Robert Lloyd, Mario Carlin, William Elvin, John Alldis Choir, Royal Philharmonic.
Conductor – Aldo Ceccato
Date & Location
July 6-9 & 15-16, 1971; All Saints Church, Tooting, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 7 69827-2 – EMI
LP SCLX 3780 – Angel Records

Cover of recording of Verdi's RigolettoRigoletto
Artists – Sherill Milnes, Alfredo Kraus, Samuel Ramey, Mignon Dunn, Ann Murrary, John Rawnsley, Dennis O’Neilll, Malcolm King, Sally Burgess, Alan Watt, Jennifer Smith, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, Philharmonia.
Conductor – Julius Rudel
Date & Location
August 12-15, 1978, EMI Studios, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 5 66037 2 – EMI Classics
LP SCZX-3872 – Angel

Arias & Songs Albums

EMI / ABC / Westminster


Cover of recoding of Bellini & Donizetti HeroinesBeverly Sills – Bellini & Donizetti Heroines
Conductor – Jussi Jalas
Orchestra – Orchestra of the Vienna Volksoper
Date & Location – June 1968; Mozartsaal, Vienna, Austria
Label & Catalog numbers
CD UMD 80468 – Millinneum Classics
LP AV-34034 – Angel Records
LP WST-17143 – ABC/Westminster Records

Cover of recording Beverly Sills ConcertBeverly Sills – In Concert
Accompanists -Paula Robinson, flute; Charles Wadsworth, piano & harpsichord; Gervase de Peyer, clarinet; Charles Treger, violin; Leslie Parnas, cello
Orchestra – Members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Date & Location
March 1972; Rutgers Presbyterian Church, New York City
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 477-630-4 – Deutsche Grammophon (This complete album has been re-issued on the DG CD “Beverly Sills and Friends. In addition, “Ah! vous direrai-je maman” and “Lo! here the gentle lark” have been re-issued on the Decca CD “The Singers.”
LP AV-34036 – Angel Records
LP ATS-20011 – ABC Audio Treasury
LP WGS-8268 – ABC Westminster Gold

Cover of recording of Beverly Sills Sings Mozart and Strauss Beverly Sills – sings Mozart and Strauss
Conductor – Aldo Ceccato
Orchestra – London Philharmonic Orchestra
Date & Location – January & August, 1970, EMI Studios, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD CDC-7 47523 2
LP AV-34014 – Angel Records
LP AT-20004 – ABC Records

Cover of recording of Beverly Sills Sings VerdiBeverly Sills – Sings Verdi
Conductor – Aldo Ceccato
Orchestra – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Date & Location
Tracks 1-4: January 1970, EMI Studios
(Tracks 5-7 added from the complete EMI recordings of Rigoletto [1978] and La Traviata [1971] )
Label & Catalog numbers
CD CDC-7 47383 2
LP AV-34017 – Angel Records
Note –
The first four arias on this disc were part of a planned full Verdi recital disc. Sills became ill during the recording sessions, completing only four arias. She ended up with a temperature of 105 and was told to go home. Sills didn’t remember recording them after her illness and the recordings stayed shelved in the ABC Records vault. They were discovered in the mid-1980’s when MCA bought the ABC catalog and did an inventory. EMI/Angel put out the LP and the CD in 1985.

Cover of recording of Music of Victor HerbertBeverly Sills – Music of Victor Herbert
Conductor – Andre Kostelanetz
Orchestra – London Symphony Orchestra
Date & Location
1975; EMI Studios, London
Label & Catalog numbers
CD CDC-7 47197 2 – EMI Angel
LP SFO-37160 – Angel Records

Cover of recording of Scenes and Arias from French OperaScenes and Arias from French Opera
Conductor – Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Date & Location
May 1969; EMI Studios, London
Label & Catalog numbers
LP AV-34035 – Angel Records
LP WST-17163 –
ABC/Westminster Records
Note –
This album has not been issued complete on CD. The Huguenots “O beau pays” has only been issued as the aria, but not including the choral middle section or the cabaletta . The Manon “Je marche” found on all compilation sets is taken from the complete 1970 EMI recording. This 1969 version has only been issued on CD in a 40-CD box set from Deutsche Grammophon, “Westminster Legacy” (UPC 0028947923435)

Cover of recording Up in Central ParkUp in Central Park: Duets from Operetta & Musical Comedy
Artists – Beverly Sills & Sherrill Milnes
Conductor – Julius Rudel
Orchestra – New York City Opera Orchestra
Date & Location –
1978; New York City
Label & Catalog numbers
CD CDC-7 47203 2 – EMI Angel
LP S-37323 – Angel Records

Cover of recording Welcome to ViennaWelcome to Vienna
Conductor – Julius Rudel
Orchestra – London Philharmonic
Date & Location –
May 1971, Fairfield Halls, Croyden, England
Label & Catalog numbers
CD CDM 0777 7 64424 2 6 – EMI Angel
LP AV-34037 – Angel Records
LP WST-20009 – ABC Records

Sony


Cover of recording of Plaisir D'AmourPlaisir D’Amour
Conductor – Andre Koselanetz
Orchestra – Columbia Symphony
Date & Location
Tracks 1-9: October 1-2 & 21, 1975; Columbia 30th St. Studio, New York City
Tracks 10-13: February 8, 1961; Manhattan Center, New York City
Label & Catalog numbers
CD SMK 60576 – Sony Classical
LP M 33933 – Columbia
(did not include the four 1961 items)
LP P2S 5720 –
Columbia Musical Treasury
LP DMS 6223 –
Columbia Musical Treasury

Note –
In the Sony CD liner notes, Sills says she didn’t remember recording the three Spanish numbers or for what purpose. Columbia issued only the Granados and the Ponce items in the early 1970s twice – on a 2-LP set “Romantic Music of Spain” (P2S 5720), a compilations of various orchestras and conductors; and, more strangely, on the LP “Puccini for Orchestra” (DMS 622), which had “guest artist Beverly Sills” on side one with the two Spanish numbers, and six Puccini arias for orchestra only conducted by Kostelanetz on side two.

Miscellaneous



Cover of recording Mozart Concert and Opera AriasMozart Concert and Opera Arias
Artists – Boston Symphony Orchestra
Conductor – Erich Leinsdorf
Orchestra – New York City Opera Orchestra
Date & Location
July 6, 1968; Tanglewood Festival, Lenox, Massachusetts(live radio broadcast)
Label & Catalog numbers
Digital Media BSO Classics (no catalog # – wasdownloadable from the BSO website shop)

Note –
This all-Mozart program included four vocal works:
Exsultate, jubilate “Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben” from Zaide
“Ah se in ciel, benigne stelle,” Concert aria
“Martern aller Arten” from Die Entführung aus dem Serail
(The BSO download is just these four and does not include the orchestra-only selections on the program)


Cover of recording Mozart's "Exsultate, jubilate"Mozart’s “Exsultate, jubilate”
Artists – Phildadelphia Orchestra
Conductor – Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra – New York City Opera Orchestra
Date & Location
April 25, 1974; Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA (live radio broadcast)
Label & Catalog numbers
CD Philadelphia Orchestra Association (no catalog # – this selection was the only one issued from the full April 25 concert. It was included on Disc 9 of a 12-CD set issued by the orchestra called “The Centennial Collection,’ available for a while directly from the orchestra).


Cover of recording Beverly Sills sings Songs for ChristmasBeverly Sills sings Songs for Christmas
Organ Accompanist – Howard Kubik
Date & Location
1955; location unknown
Label & Catalog number
LP WOR 94919 – Fordyce & Hamby
Note –
This is a 10 inch LP pressed on one side only. The architectural firm Fordyce & Hamby had this album made as a Christmas gift for clients.

Cover of recording of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"Mahler – Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection”
Artists – Beverly Sills, soprano soloist, Florence Kopleff, contralto soloist
Conductor – Maurice Abravenel
Orchestra – Utah Symphony Orchestra
Date & Location
1967; Mormon Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Utah
Label & Catalog numbers
CD ATM 1212 – Artemis Classics
(issued 2003 – coupled with Sym. No. 4)
CD OVC 2030 – Vanguard Classics
(complete Mahler symphonies, 9 cds)
CD OVC 4004 – Vanguard Classics
(issued 1994)
LP VCS 10003-10004 –
Vanguard Cardinal Series
LP SRV 330-343 – Vanguard
(complete Mahler symphonies, 14-Lps)

Cover of recording The Sullivan YearsThe Sullivan Years
Artists – Beverly Sills (and Robert Merrill, Richard Tucker, Joan Sutherland, Franco Corelli, Dorothy Kirsten, Roberta Peters, Jan Peerce, Maria Callas, Marilyn Horne, Eleanor Steber), CBS Orchestra
Conductor – Ray Block
Date & Location
May 4, 1969; Ed Sullivan Theater, New York City
Label & Catalog number
TVT 9449-2 – 1001 Sundays/TVT Records
Note –
This is a compilation of opera arias and duets from the Ed Sullivan Show on CBS-TV. Sills is represented by “O luce di quest’anima” sung without the recitative at the beginning (cut because Sullivan demanded that the opera segments be no more than 4 minutes long). This recording is the audio from the same performances on the Kultur DVD “Great Moments in Opera from the Ed Sullivan Show” (see this listing in this Discography’s Video section)

Compilations from Previous Albums

EMI Group


Cover of recording Art of Beverly Sills volume oneThe Art of Beverly Sills
Release Date – original release 1985,
re-released 1992
Label & Catalog numbers
CD CDM 0777 7 64425 2 5 – EMI Classics (1992)
CD SDB 028545 – EMI Angel (1985)

Cover of recording of Art of Beverly Sills volume twoThe Art of Beverly Sills, Album 2
Release Date – 1985
Label & Catalog numbers
CD CDC-7 47332 2 – EMI Angel
LP AV-34081 – Angel Records

Note –
The LP did not have the two Verdi selections

Cover of recording The Very Best of Beverly SillsThe Very Best of Beverly Sills
Release Date – May 2005
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 5 86317 2 – EMI Classics

Decca


Cover of recording The Singers: Beverly SillsThe Singers: Beverly Sills
Release Date – 2001
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 289 467 906-2 – Decca

Note –
The booklet with this album unbelievably gets most of the recording dates wrong, incorrectly listing the tracks 1 and 2 as 1974, tracks 8 and 9 as 1969, and tracks 10 and 11 as 1964.)

Deutsche Grammophon


Cover of recording The Art of Beverly SillsThe Art of Beverly Sills
Release Date – November 2002
Label & Catalog numbers
CD 289 471 766-2 – Deutsche Grammophon
Note –
The DG booklet and back cover incorrectly list the second part of #3 track on CD 1 as “Obéssons quand leur voix” which is the traditional “Gavotte” of the Cours-la-Reine scene. What is actually on the CD is the alternate Fabliau “Oui dans les bois” which Sills recorded as an appendix to the complete recording. DG has corrected the error on its website.

Cover of recording Beverly Sills: The Great RecordingsBeverly Sills – The Great Recordings
Release Date – May 2004
Label & Catalog numbers
CD B0002469-2 – Deutsche Grammophon (initial release)
CD 0 289 474 947-2 – Deutsche Grammophon (later numbering)

Cover of recording Beverly Sills and FriendsBeverly Sills and Friends
Release Date – October 10 2006
Label & Catalog number
CD 477-630-4 Deutsche Grammophon

Biographical Books

Autobiographies

Cover of the book BubblesBubbles
Macmillan, 1976, ISBN 0672522682, hardcover
Warner Books, 1977, ISBN 0446815209, softcover

Beverly ‘s autobiography, taking her life and career up through her debut at the Met in April 1975. Numerous photos, black and white as well as color, are placed throughout the 240 pages, which also include a useful index. There are no performance annals or discographies and Sills does not comment on many of her performances or recordings

Cover of book titled Beverly, an AutobiographyBeverly, An Autobiography
Bantam, 1987, ISBN 0553051733, hardcover
Bantam, 1988, ISBN 0553266470, softcover
 
Another life story by Sills covering much of the same ground as in Bubbles but with some different and additional stories. The book goes up through the first half of Sills’ tenure as head of the New York City Opera ending with the 1986 season. The book has a number of black and white photos, most of which are not in Bubbles. The 347 pages are well indexed but again no performance annals or discographies and many performances and recordings are not mentioned.

cover of book titled Bubbles, an EncoreBubbles, An Encore
Grosset & Dunlap, 1981, ISBN 0448120445, hardcover
Grosset & Dunlap, 1981, ISBN 044812037, softcover

This is a reprint of Bubbles, with an additional chapter of 40 pages appended at the end. Written by Harvey E. Phillips, the chapter covers the rest of Sills’ career through her retirement from singing. There are additional photos and there is a separate index for the new chapter.

Cover of book titled On My OwnOn My Own
Bantam Audio Publishing 1987, ISBN 0553457438, audiobook

Issued to complement Beverly, An Autobiography published in the same year, it is not a reading from her book, but an interview done exclusively for the audiobook. There is a narrator connecting the different sections of the interview and there are two live musical numbers: “Non disperar” from Handel” “Giulio Cesare” and the “Portuguese Folk Song” that her teacher, Estelle Liebling, prepared for Sills.

Recommended Biographical Resources

Picture of cover of book The American Opera Singer: the lives and adventures of America's great singers in opera and concert Davis, Peter G.
The American Opera Singer: the lives and adventures of America’s great singers in opera and concert from 1825 to the present
Doubleday, 1997, ISBN 0385474954, hardcover
Anchor Books, 1999, ISBN 0385421745, softcover

Peter G. Davis, the longtime music critic for New York Magazine, fills nearly 600 pages with an overview of the American opera singer, from opera’s arrival in America in the early 1800’s to the end of the 20th century. The majority of the book is Davis’s opinion about the strengths and weaknesses of a number of famous American singers, from Richard Tucker and Lawrence Tibbett to Eileen Farrell and Dorothy Kirsten. His strong opinions are often blunt and unflattering. Davis’s portrayal of Beverly Sills is especially harsh, characterizing her as an overly ambitious, calculating performer, who sang beyond her abilities and took on roles unsuited for her. Her biggest fans probably will not agree with a lot of what Davis writes, but it is a good springboard for discussion about her art and an intriguing alternative viewpoint.

Picture of book cover for The Magic of Beverly SillsGuy, Nancy
The Magic of Beverly Sills
University of Illinois Press, 2015, ISBN 978-0-252-03973-7, hardcover

Not a biography but an overview of Sills’ art and popularity. The book contains material from interviews of Sills’ colleagues, family, friends and fans, all to get at what made Sills’ career such a success. There are chapters on her audio and video recordings and an in-depth analysis of her “Anna Bolena” from live recordings as an example of her attention to detail and characterization.

Picture of the cover of book Strange Child of Chaos: Norman TreigleMorgan, Brian
Strange Child of Chaos: Norman Treigle
iUniverse, 2006, ISBN 0595388981, softcover

The first biography of the bass-baritone who was often the partner in Beverly Sills’ greatest triumphs. The 300-page book includes many references to Sills within the main biographical text, as well as in the full set of annals of all Treigle’s performances, which include all his performances with Sills.

Picture of book cover for First and Lasting ImpressionsRudel, Julius and Paller, Rebecca
First and Lasting Impressions
Univ. of Rochester Press, 2013, ISBN 978-1-58046-434-5, hardcover

Rudel conducted for the New York City Opera between 1944 and 1980 and was the company’s general director from 1957 to 1979. In this memoir, he devotes many pages to his long-term association with Sills and the company. There’s not much new information about Sills, but his insights on their many successful premieres, including “Giulio Cesare” and “Roberto Devereux,” make for fascinating reading.

Cover of The New York City Opera: the lives and adventures of America's great singers in opera and concert from 1825 to the presentSokol, Martin
New York City Opera: An American Adventure
Macmillan, 1981, ISBN 0026122804, hardcover

This 562-page book is a history of the New York City Opera, from its first performance on February 21, 1944 through its 1981 spring season. Within the narrative that makes up the first part, all of Sills’s major roles and performances are covered. The second part is a complete set of performance annals for NYCO in its New York appearances (no tour information is included).

Picture of cover of book The Music Went 'Round and AroundVacha, John
The Music Went ‘Round and Around
Kent State University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-87338-798-8, soft cover

The book is a history of Cleveland’s Musicarnival from its first summer season in 1954 to its last in 1975. There are eight pages of description of the five productions Beverly Sills sang there (Die Fledermaus in 1955, The Merry Widow and Carmen in 1956, Tosca in 1957 and The Ballad of Baby Doe in 1958). Also included are two photos of Sills (Carmen and Baby Doe) and a Cleveland Press drawing of her rehearsing Tosca.

Picture of cover of book Mad Scenes and Exit AriasWaleson, Heidi
Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future of Opera in America
Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, 2018, ISBN 9781627794978, hardcover
Picador, 2019, ISBN 9781250230720, softcover

Waleson’s well-researched, evenly-balanced history of the New York City Opera reveals the significance of Sills’ contributions as the reigning star of the company at the height of popularity and also as general director for the company after she retired from singing.

Interviews and Profiles

picture of book cover Portraits in PrintBenedict, Helen
Portraits in Print
Columbia Univ. Pr., 1991, ISBN 0231072260, hardcover
Columbia Univ. Pr., 1991, ISBN 0231072279, softcover

Experienced interviewer and journalist Helen Benedict profiles ten well-known figures in the arts (Beverly Sills, Susan Sontag, Joseph Brodsky, Paule Marshall, Bernard Malamud, Jessica Mitford, Robert Treuhaft, Leonard Michaels, Bertrand Bard, and Isaac Bashevis Singer), which were originally published in other newspapers and magazines. Benedict adds additional commentary before each profile and adds a postscript to each detailing how the interviews were arranged and any particularly interesting points about the interview itself.
The 14-page Sills profile, subtitled “Undaunted and Undefeated,” was done in 1985 and emphasizes her family life, both her mother’s influence while growing up and her attempts to have a “normal” family life with her husband and children, despite her career and the children’s disabilities.

Picture of book cover Sopranos Mezzos Basses and Other FriendsChapin, Schuyler
Sopranos, Mezzos, Tenors, Bassos, and Other Friends
Crown, 1995, ISBN 0517588641, hardcover

Chapin, the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera House from 1972-1975, has written personal essays about 30 singers and musicians he has worked with and/or known. The essays are short (5 to 10 pages) and are only impressions, not full career overviews. Each is accompanied by unusually dramatic photos by James-Daniel Radiches. The Sills essay covers 8 pages and has two contrasting photos of her.

Picture of cover of book Singular Voices: Conversations with Americans who made a differenceDiamonstein, Barbaralee
Singular Voices: Conversations with Americans who made a difference
Harry N. Abrams, 1997, ISBN 0810926989, softcover

This 206-page book contains interviews with 17 leaders, pathfinders and prominent contributors to American life, who speak with candor about their professional and personal lives. Besides Beverly Sills, the list includes a wide range of personalities, such as Edward Albee, Jimmy Carter, Gloria Steinem and Elie Wiesel.

picture of cover for book Great Singers on Great SingingHines, Jerome
Great Singers on Great Singing
Doubleday,1982, ISBN 0385146388, hardcover
Limelight Editions, 1982, ISBN 0879100257, softcover

Operatic basso Jerome Hines interviews 40 famous singers and two doctors about the technique of singing. Chapters are from 5 to 10 pages long and often include printed lines of music for examples of exercises. The Sills chapter is 10 pages, in which she addresses breathing, chest voice, mask, and scales.

picture of cover of book ReverberationsJacobson, Robert
Reverberations
Morrow, 1974, ISBN 0688028756, hardcover
Vision Press, 1974, ISBN 0854784535, hardcover (UK)
Morrow, 1976, ISBN 0688078753, softcover

Robert Jacobson, former editor of Opera News, profiles 35 musicians active at the time of publication, including singers, pianists, and conductors. Profiles run 6 to 12 pages. The Sills interview (pp. 207-216) is a composite of two separate interviews, one from the winter of 1968 and one from early 1970, and goes into detail about the Giulio Cesare debut and the singing of all the Contes d’Hoffmann roles, as well as Callas’s influence on her.

picture of cover of book DivasSargeant, Winthrop
Divas
Coward, Mcann & Geoghegan, 1973, ISBN 0698104897, hardcover

Journalist Winthrop Sergeant interviews 6 world-renowned singers (Sutherland, Horne, Sills, Nilsson, Price and Farrell), giving overviews of their careers and personal insights into their talents. Each chapter is accompanied by 6-8 black and white photos. The 30-page Sills chapter recounts mostly routine facts and dates but does include some family anecdotes and some insights into Sills’s approach to characterization.

picture of cover of book Lead TimeWills, Garry
Lead Time: A Journalist’s Education
Doubleday, 1983, ISBN 0-385-17695-3, hard cover
Marriner, 2004, ISBN 0-618-44690-7, soft cover

A collection of essays by noted journalist Garry Wills. He devotes an 18-page chapter to Sills and her career, beginning with a backstage view of Sills in a performance of Anna Bolena.

picture of cover of book Wood, Silver and Gold: a flutist's lifeWion, John
Wood, Silver and Gold: a flutist’s life
JohnWion.Com/Lulu, 2007, ISBN 978-1-4303-2039-5

John Wion was the principle flutist for the New York City Opera orchestra from 1965 to 2002. His memoirs include references to Sills as performer and administrator throughout that period. He comments on specific Sills roles and includes anecdotes about her and her colleagues.

Recordings Commentary

Picture of book cover American Opera Singers and Their RecordingsMcCants, Clyde T.
American Opera Singers and Their Recordings
McFarland, 2004, ISBN 0786419520, softcover

McCants writes about the recordings of 53 singers. In Sills’ entry, he covers all of her commercially issued recordings, briefly analyzing what’s best about them while noting the changes in her voice over the 20-year span of recorded legacy.

Picture of book cover The Assoluta Voice in Opera, 1797-1847Riggs, Geoffrey
The Assoluta Voice in Opera, 1797-1847
McFarland & Company, 2003, ISBN 0-7864-1401-4, hardcover
ISBN 0786440775, softcover

Riggs, a writer for musical journals, magazines and newsletters, gives the history and characteristics of the bel canto style in opera, including examples from recordings. In more than 20 pages, the author provides detailed descriptions and analyses of the Sills recordings of Anna Bolena, Norma and Roberto Devereux.

Biographies for Young Readers

image of cover of Beverly Sills by Mona KerbyKerby, Mona
Beverly Sills: America’s Own Opera Star
Viking Kestrel, 1989, ISBN 0670822515, hardcover
MK Publications, 2017, revised ed., ISBN 9780999379042 or 9781734664362, softcover

The author used the two Sills autobiographies and 20 magazine articles to put together this brief overview of Sills’ life, totaling 56 pages. It emphasizes what Sills accomplished as an American woman, with special focus on her formative years. Although the book repeats some of the misremembered dates and performances Sills put in her books, it’s a good introduction to Sills’ art and popularity for elementary and middle school readers. The hardcover edition is illustrated with simple line drawings, but the revised softcover edition uses photographs, which gives a better feel for her personality.

image of cover of Beverly Sills: Opera SingerPaolucci, Bridgit
Beverly Sills: Opera Singer
Chelsea House Publishers, 1990, ISBN 1-55546-677-X, hardcover

Written for middle school and high school readers, this 112-page book is a compact biography of Sills, taken mostly from Sills’ autobiographies, but also magazine and newspaper articles, as well as interviews with the author. There are a number of good black and white photos of Sills in costume and with family members. As with the Kerby biography, this book repeats some dates and events misremembered by Sills in her own books, but this more substantial biography is also a good introduction to Sills’ life and career.

Brief biography

The best and most accurate brief biography is the one at Wikipedia

Many other short biographies of Sills can be found online. Most, however, have conflicting dates, achievements and life events. We recommend using any of these with caution, checking any points against the Wikipedia entry and our site before accepting their accuracy.

We also caution against relying on printed biographies, including Sills’ own autobiographies, for accurate dates and achievements, especially those concerning her career before 1951.  Many inaccuracies have been perpetuated in numerous sources, giving the misinformation the weight of authority.

Our goal is to correct inaccuracies as we discover them and to verify, in primary sources, the dates, venues and achievements of Sills’ career.