Tuesday, July 03, 2007

RIP--Beverly Sills

One of the last great popular opera divas has passed. Beverly Sills, soprano extrodanaire and the face of opera for a generation died of lung cancer today. She was 78. Though she retired on the stage in 1980, she became director of the New York Opera and chair of the Metropolitan Opera, also guest hosting such programs as The Tonight Show and The Muppet Show (back in the day when people like Sills and Dick Cavett could host a show like that). Most importantly, she cared about spreading the beauty of opera, something that has been forgotten in the wake of singers like Andrea Bocelli or Charlotte Church and "composers" of new opera such as Robert Ashley. Unfortunately, there's currently nobody to take her esteemed place.