Born in the USA

Beverly Sills was nothing if not precocious (and La Cieca means that in every way — listen to the way the little sexpot purrs, “G’bye, Uncle Sol” at the end of the clip!) Anyway, here she is at somewhere between seven and nine years of age in the 1938 film short Uncle Sol Solves It. Note that even before La Sills grew into her voice, she already had locked into the trademark Sills body language, including the bouncing hands and little bob of the head when hooking into the top notes. And note also the very solid musicianship and tasteful use of rubato — even when (as at about 2:45) she has to throw a warning “follow me!” glance at her accompanist!

There’s oodles more Sillsiana on Thanksgiving night on PBS Great Performances — check your local listings and don’t forget to set the DVR! (And later in the week, La Cieca will explain how she’s only one degree of separation from La Sills. No, really.)


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