Beverly Sills: Queen of Nashville? A Monday Muppet moment
In my ongoing attempt to lighten the Monday mood, the Classical 101 staff has been doing exhaustive research, trying to locate the gems of the classical Muppet repertoire. (OK…I Googled it and hit it big.)
I am always amazed at some of the names I have seen displayed on the Muppet marquee. At first glance, you might think today’s performer is the biggest surprise of all. However,
Beverley Sills was willing to take on most anything. She had a great sense of comic timing, which became evident in her early career.
Sills’ professional stage debut came in 1945. In her autobiography she said, “I played the title role in Patience, and I absolutely loved the character, because Patience is a very funny, flaky girl…. I played her as a dumb Dora all the way through and really had fun with the role…. My Patience grew clumsier and clumsier with each performance, and audiences seemed to like her…. I found that I had a gift for slapstick humor, and it was fun to exercise it onstage.”
In her 1979 appearance on the Muppet Show, the opera star sang country, practiced sticking a spoon on her nose with Gonzo, performed with Miss Piggy in Pigoletto and, well, you’ll just have to see it to believe it. It all begins above with a little song and dance. See the entire episode here.
Below, she demonstrates her ability to perform with absolutely anyone. Her appearance with Danny Kaye is priceless.
Here you can see her final appearance on the opera stage where it all began.