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Beverly Sills: Made In America [DVD] [2007]

 Exempt   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 15.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Universal Classics & Jazz
  • DVD Release Date: 16 April 2007
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JJRYAG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 163,893 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Documentary about the celebrated American operatic soprano. From singing in a miss beautiful baby contest at three to General Manager of the New York City Opera is quite a journey and here, in performance clips, interview with Sills herself and with a host of opera authorities and her peers, her extraordinary career is celebrated and dissected.

Product Description

NOTICE: Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk DOES NOT have English audio and subtitles.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The difference a House makes. 1 July 2008
Ms Sills sang mainly in the City Opera NY, when she should have been appearing at the Met. This disc is a fine example of what they were missing for so many years. She had a wider range that so many others who sang in the Big House, and her ventures into acts with other stars of the day are very entertaining. This should not be missed, showing a life of variety, and the bonuses are of works sung by others with less to offer, but who achieved greater fame. Well worth the money, a souvenir of what she left behind for us.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bubbles on disc 21 Mar 2008
A very enjoyable disc of highlights from the life,and performing careeer of a much loved and much missed Diva.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun AND Exquisite Singing 27 Nov 2006
By G P Padillo - Published on Amazon.com
On reflection, I wish the program had been even longer, and had gone more in depth with her professional life, collaborations with other artists, etc. Those who know Sills's life will see where the obvious "drop outs" were. Nonetheless, I'm pleased the thing got made at all and it serves as a welcome calling card for many who'd no previous opportunities to (as Sills herself would say) "see what all the fuss was about."

It was fun to see all that gruesome almost glow-in-the-dark-by-numbers, 70's Sills Diva Fashion on the talk show circuits and some of those hair do's . . . mon Dieu! Loved also the still photos, such as the period when she was singing in the private after-hours club, looking all dark haired and sultry. Oh, Bev!

The Willow Song, the Cleopatra aria, the Manon scenes and her late career takes on Violetta and the Deveraux Elisabetta, perfectly captured the Sills commitment and excitement. Such impeccable musicianship in everything she did, wed to a formidable stage personality, it's no wonder she created so many sensational performances.

It was great getting to see clips of the talk shows I remember as a kid, and hearing her sing the popular numbers. I loved how, unlike so many who put on a show with histrionics in this type of material, Sills stood, stock still, and in "All the things you are" even had her hands demurely hooked into her front pockets, every bit of emotion coming purely through the voice and her smile. How special to find someone who trusts the material so much that she can sing it THAT passionately, feeling no need to add anything "extra."

It's always interesting to see the change of perspective coming back to a singer a decade or two after they've left the stage and studio. Sills, to my ears, was sounding threadbare and rough on many occassions, but that's because I was comparing her with herself. Critics could get harsh, for the same reasons. Now listening to some of her end-of-career material I'm actually surprised at how much voice was left when she retired.

With her love for musical theatre, I always thought Sills should make a final performance singing "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" as the Mother Abbess in a revival of The Sound of Music. A friend of mine (who I pretty much turned on to Sills) interviewed her last year and asked her if it was true that she really never sang at all anymore. "not even a note to test the voice out? Not even in the shower?" "Not a note," was her reply, along with something along the lines of "that Beverly Sills was another person"

p.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interviews, music, and an insight into the life of a legendary soprano 24 Nov 2006
By DodgyUSA - Published on Amazon.com
Beverly Sills: Made in America is an interesting retrospect of her international career. Filled with interviews from her television guest spots on the Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, Dinah Shore, and Merv Griffin shows, Beverly gives us insights into her choice of roles, her views on portraying a historical character such as Elizabeth I, and her training and background. She also shares personal recollections of her family and of her two children-both who were born with handicaps.

Throughout, we are treated to vocal fireworks, shimmering cascading notes, and her impeccable phrasing in such roles as Cleopatra, Manon, Lucia, Violetta, and Zerbinetta. A particularly beautiful excerpt is her Willow Song, from The Ballad of Baby Doe. The composer, Douglas Moore, sits nearby and he introduces the piece, saying that she was his favorite Baby Doe.

We also get to see her in performances with such guest stars as Danny Kaye, Carol Burnett, Lily Tomlin, and even the Muppets !

An enjoyable program from start to finish, and a must for Beverly Sills Fans.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sills Soars - again! 13 Jan 2007
By Raymond Dobrovolsky - Published on Amazon.com
This is a wonderful collection of snip-its representing the long and fascinating career of Beverly Sills. I found it hard to believe that many of these stretch back almost 30 years when she was at the height of her career. You get to hear her in a number of classic roles in opera she is known for - "Manon", "Julius Ceasar", "The Ballad of Baby Doe", as well as enjoying her charm while guesting on numerous television shows like the Johnny Carson show, Dinah Shore show, and others. The quality is very good, and serves as a great reminder of what a memorable and fantastic singer she was. I'm happy to have been able to enjoy hearing her "live" as well as meeting her in person, and now have something to bring back some of those great memories.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ms. Sills, we're going to miss you! 29 Jun 2007
By C. ANZIULEWICZ - Published on Amazon.com
It's almost spooky: As a long-time fan of Ms. Sills, I had borrowed and watched this DVD only about a week ago. And TODAY I find out she's been striken with lung cancer and isn't expected to survive. And it's bringing me to tears.

Back in the 1970s when boys my age idolized rock stars and professional athletes, MY idol was Beverly Sills. A coloratura soprano, Beverly Sills (or "Bubbles" as she was nicknamed) wasn't exactly a critical darling; from a purely technical point of view she wasn't up there with Maria Callas or Jessye Norman. But she did bring a certain populism to the stage, a warmth and enthusiasm that endeared her to audiences everywhere. I thought she was wonderful, and I even had an 8-track tape of hers that I would bravely sing along to (but only in the privacy of my old Mercury Bobcat). But doing that falsetto today, at the age of 48, simply is no longer possible, alas.

As for this DVD, it's a wonderful retrospective of her career as opera superstar: Not only performing in lush and glorious operas, but also guest starring on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson (back when that program still had class), "The Carol Burnett Show," even "The Muppet Show." Few people younger than 30 will even recognize the name; but for those of us who remember Beverly Sills so fondly, it is a sad time indeed. As an online friend of mine said, "When she passes, Opera will lose far more than a singer; the Arts as a whole will loose an invaluable spokesperson."
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Diva 25 Nov 2006
By Beth Hoekje - Published on Amazon.com
Beverly Sills was "the best" and Made In America shows off her amazing vocal abilities in spades. The producers include complete arias, not just snatches as is often done, and just enough dialogue and history to tie it all together. A marvelous performance!
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