SILLS--Beverly. The Metropolitan Opera, its board members, management, staff, and artistic company, mourn the death of one of our greatest artists and truest friends. Chairman Emerita of our Board at the time of her death, Beverly Sills made her triumphant Met debut in the U.S. premiere of Rossini's "The Siege of Corinth" on April 7, 1975. She followed that success with performances of the title roles in "La Traviata" and "Lucia di Lammermoor", and two new production premieres: Massenet's "Thais" and Donizetti's "Don Pasquale". Her extraordinary accomplishments continued after she retired from singing, and we were fortunate to have her as a Managing Director of our Board beginning in 1991 and as Chairman from 2003 to 2005. Her amazing ability to fundraise and to act as an advocate for opera was born of her intense love for the art form. Her warm, unfailingly positive, and good-humored nature won her the love and admiration of all those who worked with her, whether on stage or off. We have lost one of the most significant figures in the history of opera in this country, and a wonderful human being. We extend our deepest sympathy to her family and innumerable friends. Christine F. Hunter, Chairman of the Board William C. Morris, President and CEO Peter Gelb, General Manager James Levine, Music Dir.
Published in The New York Times on July 4, 2007