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July 16, 2007


Jessica D. Flynn, retired from 25 years singing with Pittsburgh Opera Co

My experience over 25 years with the Pittsburgh Opera company includes many fantastic performance moments.
Beverly Sills, singing the "mad scene" from "Lucia," standing only inches away from my assigned spot on stage, provided enough vibrant sound and vocal gymnastic wonder to occupy my memory for life. Aside from my stage experience with Sills, I recall stopping by her dressing room to have my score signed. She graciously invited me to sit down, inquired about the opera company, and was genuinely a "person," lovely in demeanor and kindness to a lowly company member.
This was in great contrast to those who would arrive in Pittsburgh with body guard and attitude to fend off the "peasants."

The Original Accidental Pren-her

Jessica, what a lovely memory and exerience to share with us all. Her graciousness was legendary and your story helps support all that we knew and loved about her. Thanks for stopping by.

Eric Bowman

Although I never had the pleasure of hearing Ms. Sills' glorious voice "live" I still enjoy listening to her wonderful instrument via CD recording. Also, maybe it's just my age showing but I am tormented trying to remember a vivid image of Ms. Sills appearing on the Carol Burnett show?

The Original Accidental Pren-her

Indeed Eric, Carol and Beverly did sing together on the Carol Burnett Show! My age is showing, too :> There's a picture of them together here: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/shows/beverlysills/index.html
Love their matchy-matchy outfits! Thanks for posting!

Muzetta Swann

Susan, Your tribute to Beverly Sills is great! I believe she was definitely a polymath. I had the honor of working at New York City Opera Guild while she was General Manager. She was an extraordinary businessperson and worked as much as everyone else, if not harder. She could have been a prima donna in that position, but that wasn't her style. She was level-headed and brilliant. Her style was to push your sleeves up and get ready to be there for hours. But we loved it! And we loved her!! Muzetta

The Original Accidental Pren-her

Muzetta, thank you for your post confirming how amazing Beverly Sills was as a business woman. As someone who worked with her at the NYCO, you were able to see, first hand, how she was both a consumate artist and brilliant General Manager. Now, that's inspiring!

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