Beverly Sills passed away this week at the age of 78. Not only was she an amazing singer who introduced opera to much of mainstream America, she also directed the New York City Opera for several years and later became chairwoman of the Metropolitan Opera. She will most definitely be missed. You can read her New York Times obituary here.
Another opera singer, the French soprano Regine Crespin, passed away today at the age of 80. You can read her obituary here. My favorite story about her is this tidit (from the NYT obit):
"Recalling her performances at the Met with the powerhouse tenor Franco Corelli in 'Tosca' and Massenet’s 'Werther,' she said he was convinced that eating raw garlic before a performance was good for the voice. But when they sang duets, Corelli would regularly burp. She learned to adjust, Ms. Crespin said."
Further proof that opera singers are a crazy bunch... (and I say this as a member of that bunch, though I don't think I could stomach raw garlic!)