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WQXR Features

1992: Beverly Sills on The Vocal Scene

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In 1992, the Brooklyn-born soprano Beverly Sills was a guest on The Vocal Scene, a show hosted by the late George Jellinek that ran on WQXR for 36 years. This was recorded several years after her retirement from singing, at age 63.

At this point in her life, Sills was operatic royalty. She had long since retired from the stage, but played an active role in managerial positions at New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. With her plain-spoken manner and telegenic charisma, "Bubbles," as she was known, frequently sat in for Johnny Carson as host of "The Tonight Show," and even did a stint co-hosting "The View" late in her life (she passed away in 2007).

In the course of this hour-long show, Sills shares her recordings of Massenet's Manon, Handel's Giulio Cesare and Donizetti's Anna Bolena, among others. We also hear what happened when she heard herself singing on the radio while getting her hair done in the beauty parlor.

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