The tenor/administrator/conductor/operatic superman had already been scheduled to speak at the Tribute; he has now agreed to sing the aria "Ombra mai f‹" from Handel's Serse. (The event is co-presented by the Met, where Domingo is a longtime star; New York City Opera, where the tenor had some of his crucial early successes as a young singer; and Lincoln Center, Inc.)
Also on the program are three art songs, all accompanied by the Met's director of music administration, Craig Rutenberg, at the piano: Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Nightingale and the Rose" (Oriental Romance), sung by soprano Anna Netrebko; Schubert's "An die Musik," sung by bass-baritone John Relyea; and Richard Strauss's "Ich wollt ein Str‹usslein binden," sung by soprano Natalie Dessay. (With those three singers, there's still plenty of sex appeal after all, not to mention vocal allure.)
Among the speakers honoring Sills will be the comedienne Carol Burnett (a longtime friend and occasional television co-star of Sills), Met general manager Peter Gelb, conductor and former City Opera general director Julius Rudel, former Lincoln Center president Nathan Leventhal, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Henry Kissinger and Barbara Walters.
Free tickets to "A Tribute to Beverly Sills" will be available at the Metropolitan Opera box office on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 12 noon on Sunday (September 16); there is a limit of two tickets per person. The event will be broadcast live on the Metropolitan Opera channel on Sirius Satellite Radio and streamed live via RealNetworks at www.metopera.org; the radio program will begin at 4:30 p.m. with recordings featuring Sills, followed by the live program from the Metropolitan Opera House stage beginning at 5 p.m.