October 12, 2010

AUSTRALIA: La Stupenda exits the stage

LONDON, England / The Daily Mirror / News / October 12, 2010

Opera great Dame Joan Sutherland dies aged 83

By Tom Mctague


Dame Joan Sutherland, one of the most acclaimed sopranos of the 20th century, has died aged 83.

The Australian-born opera great was known as La Stupenda (Stupendous One) for nearly all of her career over four decades, from the 50s to the 80s.

She earned the accolade in Venice in 1960 when picky Italian critics lauded her range as even greater than that of Maria Callas.

Her 1959 role as Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden had already established her reputation. From then, she was feted all over the world as "the phenomenon of the postwar era" until her 1990 retirement, 11 years after she was made a Dame.

She died at her home in Switzerland after an illness resulting from a fall. But husband and vocal coach Richard Bonynge, 90, and son Adam said: "She'd given a lot of pleasure to a lot of people in a long life."

Copyright The Daily Mirror

Los Angeles, California / The Los Angeles Times /  Breaking / Obituaries / October 12, 2010

Joan Sutherland dies at 83; ranked among the most powerful divas of the 20th century

The soprano achieved stardom in 1959 in the title role of Donizetti's 'Lucia di Lammermoor' at London's Royal Opera House. Her triumph as Lucia spurred a return to prominence for the 'bel canto' style.

Joan Sutherland, shown in 2001 in Melbourne, achieved stardom in the title role in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” in 1959 at London’s Royal Opera House. She returned the “bel canto” style to prominence. (Julian Smith, European Pressphoto Agency / July 23, 2001)

By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times

Joan Sutherland, the Australian tailor's daughter acclaimed as "La Stupenda" during a nearly 40-year operatic career and rated by many critics as the most powerful and technically perfect diva of the 20th century, has died. She was 83.

Sutherland died Sunday at her home near Geneva, Switzerland, after a long illness, her family announced.

For full report in The Los Angeles Times, click here

Farewell to the Dame

SYDNEY, New South Wales / The Australian / Features / October 12, 2010

By Graeme Leech

THE likes of Joan Sutherland will never be seen again.

THE greatest soprano of her time, Joan Sutherland was blessed with formidable technique, a voice that brought her the title La Stupenda, and an unspoiled Australian nature that kept vanity and pretension at bay.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Sutherland's career was its longevity and her ability to adapt as her voice declined with age. Born with unusually strong vocal chords that gave her outstanding flexibility and comfort in the upper register, Sutherland was credited with helping revive the bel canto (beautiful singing) repertoire. Her middle range was rich, and in the low range she could reach deep mezzo notes.

Sutherland's contribution to opera in Australia, Europe and the Americas during the second half of the 20th century is unmatched by any other female performer.

For full report, click here

Joan Sutherland received many honours, including companion of the Order of Australia in 1975, Dame of the British Empire in 1979 and the Order of Merit (an honour within the Queen's personal gift and therefore rare) in 1991.

She is survived by her husband, Richard Bonynge, her son, Adam, and her grandchildren.

Copyright 2010 News Limited.