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BEVERLY SILLS: MADE IN AMERICA premiered on November 23, 2006 and is being rebroadcast in July 2007 on PBS (check local listings).

When 10-year-old Belle "Bubbles" Silverman told her father she wanted to be an "opera star," the reaction was more dismay than thrill. It was only after nearly three decades of hard work and grinding out a living that Bubbles -- better known as Beverly Sills -- rose to international fame and critical acclaim. Before retiring from professional singing in 1980 -- and commencing a famous second career as general director of New York City Opera, as well as chairman of both Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera -- Sills had circled the globe, triumphing in a host of leading roles from some of the world's most cherished operas. She also became a household name on television, costarring in numerous specials with friends like Danny Kaye, Dinah Shore, and Carol Burnett, as well as guest-hosting THE TONIGHT SHOW for Johnny Carson. BEVERLY SILLS: MADE IN AMERICA is the story of a truly homegrown opera star, told firsthand in excerpts from talk-show interviews, with extended performance sequences from "Manon," "Julius Caesar," "Roberto Devereux," "The Barber of Seville," and many more operas.

Beverly Sills died on July 2, 2007 at her home in Manhattan, New York from inoperable lung cancer.

Although she had appeared on the stages of major opera houses around the world, many of her groundbreaking performances were in front of a hometown crowd, at the New York City Opera. The singer began her long association with the City Opera in October 1955, when she debuted as Rosalinde in Strauss' "Die Fledermaus." It was her performance as Cleopatra in the company's production of Handel's "Julius Caesar," more than 10 years later, that rocketed her to international stardom. Learn how Sills was received by opera fans and critics in the essay by contributor Tim Smith, which also includes recommendations for some of her must-have recordings. Read an interview with the legendary singer in Dialogue, and find a catalogue of the performance excerpts featured in the documentary in the song list.

Special funding for the program was provided by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, and the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust.

Top banner photos: Beverly Sills in ''The Merry Widow,'' ''Manon'' (© Metropolitan Opera Guild, photo by William Harris), and ''Roberto Devereux.''

Beverly Sills

Beverly Sills on THE DICK CAVETT SHOW.

Carol Burnett and Beverly Sills

Carol Burnett and Beverly Sills

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The DVD is available.

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