Beverly Sills

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The ideas of a time are like the clothes of a season: they are as arbitrary, as much imposed by some superior will which is seldom explicit. They are utilitarian and political, the instruments of smooth-running government.
Wyndham Lewis
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Beverly Sills (born May 25, 1929, as Belle Silverman) was perhaps the best-known American opera singer in the 1960s and 1970s. She is a coloratura soprano, and has earned a Grammy.

  • Art is the signature of civilizations.
  • There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
  • You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.
  • You can't aim a duck to death.
  • I really do believe I can accomplish a great deal with a big grin, I know some people find that disconcerting, but that doesn't matter.
  • I've always tried to go a step past wherever people expected me to end up.
  • A happy woman is one who has no cares at all; a cheerful woman is one who has cares but doesn't let them get her down.
  • A primary function of art and thought is to liberate the individual from the tyranny of his culture in the environmental sense and to permit him to stand beyond it in an autonomy of perception and judgment.
  • Anger begins with folly, and ends with repentance.
  • Attachment to spiritual things is... just as much an attachment as inordinate love of anything else.
  • Christians should never fail to sense the operation of an angelic glory. It forever eclipses the world of demonic powers, as the sun does a candle's light.
  • Everything you need you already have. You are complete right now, you are a whole, total person, not an apprentice person on the way to someplace else. Your completeness must be understood by you and experienced in your thoughts as your own personal reality.
  • I had found a kind of serenity, a new maturity... I didn't feel better or stronger than anyone else but it seemed no longer important whether everyone loved me or not - more important now was for me to love them. Feeling that way turns your whole life around; living becomes the act of giving.
  • I lived through the garbage. I might as well dine on the caviar.
  • I've always tried to go a step past wherever people expected me to end up.
  • In youth, we run into difficulties. In old age, difficulties run into us.
  • My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
  • My voice had a long, nonstop career. It deserves to be put to bed with quiet and dignity, not yanked out every once in a while to see if it can still do what it used to do. It can't.
  • So long as it doesn't get to the point where you don't remember whose opera you're listening to, I'm willing to experiment.
  • There is a growing strength in women but it's in the forehead, not the forearm.
  • You don't always get what you ask for, but you never get what you don't ask for... unless it's contagious!