To some, she was Bubbles. Others knew her as "the diva next door." But to most of the world, the Brooklyn-born coloratura soprano Beverly Sills was America’s first prima donna. Sills, who died in 2007, was a particularly memorable guest on WQXR's The Vocal Scene with George Jellinek.
Sills was more than a soprano. She helped reshape the cultural map of New York City through her leadership of the New York City Opera and Lincoln Center. With her plain-spoken manner and telegenic charisma, she 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 also left behind the memories of many great performances, some documented on recordings. On this 1992 edition of The Vocal Scene we hear her performances of Massenet's Manon, Cleopatra in Handel's Giulio Cesare, and the title role in Donizetti's Anna Bolena, among others.