Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Family of Murder Victim of Bernie Tiede, Once Subject of Hollywood Movie, Thankful After 'Known Con Man' Is Re-Sentenced to Life
- Read the Cover Story: Prince, 1958-2016
- Jay Z Looks Really Relaxed in Miami: He's Got 99 Problems but Lemonade Ain't One!
- WATCH: Sexual Abuse Survivor Helps Addicts Heal Through Equine Therapy: 'Your Story Can Save Someone's Life'
- Meet the Poet Who Inspired Beyoncé's Lemonade
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- September 14, 1981
- Vol. 16
- No. 11
Soprano Gianna Rolandi Shifts into High Gear on Her Road to Becoming the Next Queen of the High C's
Gianna is not the first in her family to tackle Verdi and Rossini. Her mother, Jane Frazier, hailed from North Carolina but sang with Italian opera companies under the name Giovanna Frazieri. But after Gianna's Italian father, an obstetrician-gynecologist, was killed in a Long Island auto crash when she was 3, the Rolandis moved from New York to South Carolina where her mother taught voice at Spartanburg's Converse College.
A serious violin student by 6, Gianna remembers that "When there was nobody home, I'd turn on opera records and sing along with Tosca and Madama Butterfly." After four years at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute, where she existed on "hot dogs and yogurt," she was hired for the New York City Opera. In true 42nd Street fashion, Gianna made her 1975 debut when the singer playing Olympia in Tales of Hoffmann fell ill. She got her chance to perform with the Metropolitan Opera in 1979 despite nearly running down conductor Eric Leinsdorf on her bike near Central Park. "He thought I was the funniest thing—a bike-riding opera singer with a ponytail." A week later, he offered her a role in Der Rosenkavalier. Gianna, whose offstage interest is opera singer Joe McKee, has so far sung more than 30 roles at the City Opera. Yet she still gets tongue-tied around Sills. "I'll never forget that first time standing looking at the schedule board, and all of a sudden she was there," says Gianna. "I just froze." Later this month Gianna inherits Sills' old starring role in I Puritani.
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!