File puptcrit/puptcrit.0707, message 10


To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 16:54:29 GMT
Subject: [Puptcrit] Beverly Sills, Opera Star & Muppet Show Guest


Beverly Sills died Monday evening, ending an impressive career as vocal artist and leader in the Arts Community. As a guest on the Muppet Show she has a connection to puppetry.

Many years ago, when  she was in Los Angeles with the NY City Opera Company, I met her backstage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion. Milton Halpert, a member of the stage hand union in NYC introduced us.

Milton was a tireless advocate for puppetry and The Puppeteers of America, occasionally performed Punch & Judy, was a member of the Puppetry Guild in NYC, and a friend and fan of Lillian Oppenheimer who was another PofA member who also encouraged puppeteers. Both Lillian and Milton encouraged fans of origami as well. It was not unusual for Milton to make origami figures backstage for Beverly Sills' kids. 

Hearing of Beverly Sills' passing was sad news. She was such a vital life in American culture, and accomplished much with her famous "can-do" atttude. We could use more of that quality today in our government and our cultural organizations.

But thinking of Beverly Sills, made me think also of Milton & Sylvia Halpert, Lillian Oppenheimer and a host of friends in the puppetry community who I met through Puppeteers of America and various puppet guilds. 

So many who enriched my life are gone now, but they are not forgotten.

When younger puppeteers ask what good is PofA for them, the answer is "a lot".

ALAN COOK


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