Yes, I know that Beverly Sills isn't a kitty or connected with the Cat Blogosphere in any way, but she meant a great deal to me. I was blessed by growing up in a home in which music in some form was heard every day. I had just begun to discover opera when I went off to the University of Texas at Austin. The University had a great program where students could buy a season pass to a great series of musical performances each year, including at least one full scale opera. If my memory isn't playing tricks on me about the year, the opera for the 1967-68 school year was The Tales of Hoffman, starring Beverly Sills and Norman Triegle. I was sitting in the third row center. It was a magical experience for me. It was only the third live opera I had ever seen and I was absolutely entranced. It was sung in English, so I had no problem following the plot. It was one of those perfect performances, where everyone was in perfect voice and the energy level was so high I could taste it. Afterwards, people who were patient enough could wait backstage for a word or two with the performers. That was magical, too. I was even on the receiving end of that world-famous grin, as something I said, I don't remember what, amused her.
From then on, I pursued an interest in opera and, while I can't can myself a real opera buff, I really learned to enjoy it. I also followed Beverly Sills' career and read whatever I could find about her. She was one of those special people who could light up a room just by walking into it. On my supper break tonight I was paging through the newspaper and saw the headline that she had died on Monday. I felt like someone had kicked me in the gut. This little limerick came to me while I was getting through the rest of my shift. It is not in any way worthy of her, but she gave me the best she had and, poor though it is, this is the best I have to give back.
There once was a singer named Beverly Sills.
Just listening to her would give me thrills.
Now she is gone
And I feel forlorn.
Oh, how I will miss you, Miss Beverly Sills.