Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Dame Joan Alston Sutherland 1926 – 2010

Soprano Joan Sutherland, celebrated for renaissance repertoire, died on Sunday, aged 84.

Sutherland, an OM, AC, DBE, was one of the most remarkable female opera singers of the 20th century, and dubbed "La Stupenda" in 1960.

Luciano Pavarotti said she was the "voice of the century", and Montserrat Caballé said Joan's voice was like "heaven".

Her highest note was a high F-sharp in altissimo.


10 comments:

Ross Parisi said...

Thanks Michael for recognising and acknowleding pure class.

Have you thought of adding to the posting a You Tube duet of 'La Stupenda' with Pavarotti.

Now that would be the ultimate!

Michael Hyams said...

A sad day, indeed. By pure co-incidence, my U3A monthly programme of Video Opera, which this month is on October 26th, 10 am at Red Cross Hall, Trinity Beach Road, had already been plaqnned to show LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, the 1986 Sutherland version, which in my view is even better that the performance she gave in London, which launched her career. If you are interested please ring the University of the Third Age Office at 4051 0400 at put your name down. Cost is $2 for members, and ( I cant remember) marginally more for visitors, who would be welcome.

Michael Hyams said...

Hello Ross, You would have to show this computer illiterate how. I think I do have some of their duets on tape or DVD, but mnainly from other Bel Canto Operas. I like to characterise Lucia as being a mixture of Scotch Broth (the Plot) and minestrone (the Music)

Leigh Dall'Osto said...

A Legend....gone. Not many of those left these days, fame is transient and the real stars are much harder to find.

Ross Parisi said...

Thank you Michael for your advice. A DVD and a Computer is all that is needed to make and save a copy. Perhaps, I may borrow the DVD from you when we neet again next Friends' meeting.

Cheers.

Damn the Dames! said...

She was a grumpy, self important, old hag.

She left Australia 60 years ago, enjoying the hospitality of other countries, then complained of "Asian" clerks when renewing her Australian passport.

Opera is rubbish, enjoyed by almost no-one, yet rewarded as though they had saved the world or something, what the hell did she ever do to deserve being made a dame?

Zogo le said...

Prime Minister Menzies sodomized her? Good reason for being made Dame!

Mount Scopus Academic said...

The quality of the blogs today simply drags it into the dust. Todays contributors need the local address of the Flat Earth Society.

Mount Scopus Academic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mount Scopus Academic said...

I had lunch the other day with a local musician who had a long conversation with Dame Joan in Europe several months ago.

It seemed that she wanted to talk more about her vegie patch, rather than music, a side of her retirement confirmed by her Husband.

Call me sentimental if you wish, but it occurs to me that if we could collect a small amount of money from the music lovers of Cairns, say a Gold coin each, we might be able to raise enough to offer to Opera Australia, or even her Executors, enough to help with the upkeep of her vegie patch, simply as a gesture of our admiration, and have a small plaque placed in that Swiss Garden. Of course the money would be insignificant and her Estate can probably employ more than enough gardeners. Just a thought. Contact CairnsBlog.

Incidentally, I do have the blessing of the muso who spoke to me of his conversations with Dame Joan.