Friday, January 25, 2013

Gratuitous Friday – Beverly Sills sings Baby Doe – 1962

I just came across this clip from a TV broadcast in 1962. Vintage Bubbles! Back before Beverly Sills became “BEVERLY SILLS” she was already breaking hearts and wowing them with her bright clear voice. I have always loved this aria from Douglas Moore's The Ballad of Baby Doe, sort of an American L’Incoronazione di Poppea. The opera has never really caught on, but a few arias live on. It seems like singing about willow trees is always a sure bet. 

The Willow Song, from The Ballad of Baby Doe


  1. My favorite Beverly Sills video was always the one from when she was on the Muppet Show - the joke is that the planning goes wrong and they accidentally ask her to sing country music, and she does!

    The Ballad of Baby Doe was one of the first operas I ever saw (that and La Boheme). Two school trips to dress rehearsals at the Seattle Opera in the 1991-1992 season. I still remember bits of Baby Doe (including the willow song, and the bit about how someone named Tabor - if memory serves - owns the whole damn town); nice to hear Sills singing some of it!

    1. I never saw this but I remember borrowing the record from the library and listening to it -- a lot. A soprano buddy in college sang this too. I'm glad to know this holds memories for others. I will have to track down that Muppet Show clip. One of the great things about Beverly Sills was that even though she took her art very, she never took herself too seriously.


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