Beverly Sills, one of the best known American names in opera. has died at the age of 78.
It was her performance with Carol Burnett (an early favorite of mine) that brought her to my attention. Until then, I had little ear or patience for operatic style. But Ms. Sills was having so much fun with the music -- any music -- it was infectious. She did not manage to bring me to love opera, or even to appreciate it. But because of her, I was open to experiences later in Germany, and there I did come to love the beauty and the talent, if not the style.
It was Beverly Sills who, through her own dedication to all the arts, not just music, first taught me that all acts of creation are, at their base, an intimate act of sharing. One cannot be an artist and hold back; the generosity of expression simply explodes out. There are many words to describe Beverly Sills - gracious, talented, intelligent, gifted -- but I always think of generous, first.