Joan Sutherland died just before she would have celebrated her 84th birthday in Switzerland. Coming from Australia, she came into prominence with Lucia di Lammermoor, produced by Franco Zefirelli.
She had a fantastic range and was also known for her great stage presence. She did not suffer from “Diva syndrome” like many artists today and never threw tantrums.
Richard Bonynge, her husband and a conductor, guided her career. At one point they took tenor Luciano Pavarotti on a tour of their home country.
She recorded for Decca Records.
Look at the slideshow here.
Slipped Discwrites: Together, 'Lucy and Joan' formed a dream team on Decca Records. Her intonation was not always perfect and her diction was indistinct, but Sutherland always conveyed a stage grandeur that overcame any minor shortcomings and the power of her voice was unforgettable.
GenevaLunch reports (s)he retired in 1990 with a final performance at the Sydney Opera House, ending the night with “Home, Sweet Home”, a tribute to her native land.
She is survived by her husband of 56 years, pianist and conductor Richard Bonynge, and their son Adam. She had reportedly been in failing health since 2008 when she broke both legs in a fall, although she recovered well enough to attend a “luncheon hosted by Her Majesty The Queen in honour of Members of the Order of Merit at Buckingham Palace in 2009,” reports wikipedia.
The Collaborative Piano Blog says Dame Joan Sutherland, one of the legendary sopranos of the opera stage, has died. She was 83. They also have a collection of remembrances for Joan and are updating as fast as they can. This is a good place to reference as the week goes on.
The Arts Beat blog of the New York Times tells us (h)er singing was founded on astonishing technique. Her voice was evenly produced throughout an enormous range, from a low G to effortless flights above high C. She could spin lyrical phrases with elegant legato, subtle colorings and expressive nuances.