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I always hear that she started out as a lyric coloratura and moved into heavier rep. Mostly wondering how and about the size of her voice because on record it sounds... sufficient? Her voice sounds a bit lighter than what I'd expect of a soprano who tackles her later rep (Gioconda, Amelia, Adriana, Leonora).

Anyone who's familiar with her voice? Thanks!
I've seen her a few times (Madama Butterfly, Adriana Lecouvreur, La Gioconda) and she was audible at all times, her voice being penetrating instead of "big." She was strident at the top and pushed to make a big sound whenever her own caliber was insufficient. Her stage deportment was good and, once she slimmed, attractive. To focus her voice, she started projecting out of the side of her mouth and she could be plenty loud and sometimes delicate.

I've heard Sills often in San Francisco in the '70s, in Manon, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Traviata, La Fille du Régiment , Thaïs, and I Puritani and she was always audible. In fact, she found out she could be heard clearly with her back to the audience, and she used that trick as much as she could. Though I've never been a fan of her tremulous tone, she was a huge star when I first heard her. In her early days, she even sang Aida and in the '50s, she sang some Wagner (Gerhilde), no doubt singing very high notes (ho jo to!)
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