Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, OM, AC, DBE (7 November 1926 – 10 October 2010)[2] was an Australian dramatic coloratura soprano known for her contribution to the renaissance of the bel canto repertoire from the late 1950s to the 1980s.

Joan Sutherland
Sutherland in 1975
Sutherland in 1975
Background information
Birth nameJoan Alston Sutherland
Born(1926-11-07)7 November 1926
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died10 October 2010(2010-10-10) (aged 83)
Les Avants, Vaud, Switzerland
Occupation(s)Opera singer
Years active1947–1990
Other namesLa Stupenda[1]
Alma materRoyal College of Music
(m. 1954)

She possessed a voice combining agility, accurate intonation, pinpoint staccatos,[3] a trill and a strong upper register, although music critics complained about her poor diction.[4][5]

Sutherland was the first Australian to win a Grammy Award, for the year 1961 Best Classical Performance – Vocal Soloist (with or without orchestra) presented in 1962.

She was known as 'La Stupenda' and is widely regarded as one of the greatest sopranos of all time.

Early and personal life edit

Joan Sutherland was born in Sydney, Australia, to Scottish parents and attended St Catherine's School in the suburb of Waverley, New South Wales. As a child, she listened to and imitated her mother's singing exercises. Her mother, a mezzo-soprano, had taken voice lessons but never considered making a career as a professional singer. Sutherland was 18 years old when she began seriously studying voice with John and Aida Dickens. She made her concert debut in Sydney, as Dido in a production of Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, in 1947. After winning Australia's most important competition, the Sun Aria (now known as the Sydney Eisteddfod McDonald's Operatic Aria) in 1949,[6] she came third after the baritone Ronal Jackson in radio 3DB's £1,000 Mobil Quest,[7] which she won a year later.[8] In 1951, she made her stage debut in Eugene Goossens's Judith. She then went to London to further her studies at the Opera School of the Royal College of Music with Clive Carey. She was engaged by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as a utility soprano, and made her debut there on 28 October 1952, as the First Lady in The Magic Flute, followed in November by a few performances as Clotilde in Vincenzo Bellini's opera Norma, with Maria Callas as Norma.

Being an admirer of Kirsten Flagstad in her early career, she trained to be a Wagnerian dramatic soprano. In December 1952, she sang her first leading role at the Royal Opera House, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera. Other roles included Agathe in Der Freischütz, the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, Desdemona in Otello, Gilda in Rigoletto, Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Pamina in The Magic Flute. In 1953, she sang the role of Lady Rich in Benjamin Britten's Gloriana a few months after its world premiere, and created the role of Jenifer in Michael Tippett's The Midsummer Marriage, on 27 January 1955.

Sutherland married Australian conductor and pianist Richard Bonynge on 16 October 1954. Their son, Adam, was born in 1956. Bonynge gradually convinced her that Wagner might not be her Fach, and that since she could produce high notes and coloratura with great ease, she should perhaps explore the bel canto repertoire. She eventually settled in this Fach, spending most of her career singing dramatic coloratura soprano.

Career edit

In 1957, she appeared in Handel's Alcina with the Handel Opera Society, and sang selections from Donizetti's Emilia di Liverpool in a radio broadcast. The following year she sang Donna Anna in Don Giovanni in Vancouver.

In 1959, Sutherland was invited to sing Lucia di Lammermoor at the Royal Opera House in a production conducted by Tullio Serafin and staged by Franco Zeffirelli. The role of Edgardo was sung by her fellow Australian Kenneth Neate, who had replaced the scheduled tenor at short notice.[9] In 1960, she recorded the album The Art of the Prima Donna: the double LP set won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Performance – Vocal Soloist in 1962. The album was added to the National Film and Sound Archive's Sounds of Australia registry in 2011.[10]

Sutherland sang Lucia to great acclaim in Paris in 1960 and, in 1961, at La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera. For her Met performance of Lucia di Lammermoor, standees began lining up at 7:30 that morning. Her singing of the Mad Scene drew a 12-minute ovation.[11] In 1960 she sang Alcina at La Fenice. Sutherland would soon be praised as La Stupenda in newspapers around the world.[1] Later that year (1960), Sutherland sang Alcina at the Dallas Opera, with which she made her US debut.

Sutherland in 1962

Her Metropolitan Opera debut took place on 26 November 1961, when she sang Lucia. After a total of 223 performances in a number of different operas,[12] her last appearance there was a concert on 12 March 1989.[13] During the 1978–82 period her relationship with the Met deteriorated when Sutherland had to decline the role of Constanze in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, more than a year before the rehearsals were scheduled to start. The opera house management then declined to stage the operetta The Merry Widow especially for her, as requested; subsequently, she did not perform at the Met during that time at all, even though a production of Rossini's Semiramide had also been planned, but later she returned there to sing in other operas.[14]

During the 1960s, Sutherland added the heroines of bel canto to her repertoire: Violetta in Verdi's La traviata, Amina in Bellini's La sonnambula and Elvira in Bellini's I puritani in 1960; the title role in Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda in 1961; Marguerite de Valois in Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots and the title role in Rossini's Semiramide in 1962; Norma in Bellini's Norma and Cleopatra in Handel's Giulio Cesare in 1963. In 1966 she added Marie in Donizetti's La fille du régiment.

In 1965, Sutherland toured Australia with the Sutherland-Williamson Opera Company. Accompanying her was a young tenor named Luciano Pavarotti.

During the 1970s, Sutherland strove to improve her diction, which had often been criticised,[5] and increase the expressiveness of her interpretations. She continued to add dramatic bel canto roles to her repertoire, such as Donizetti's Maria Stuarda and Lucrezia Borgia, as well as Massenet's Esclarmonde. With Pavarotti she made a studio-recording of Turandot in 1972 conducted by Zubin Mehta, though she never performed the role on stage.

Sutherland's early recordings show her to be possessed of a crystal-clear voice and excellent diction. However, by the early 1960s her voice lost some of this clarity in the middle register, and she often came under fire for having unclear diction. Some have attributed this to sinus surgery; however, her major sinus surgery was done in 1959, immediately after her breakthrough Lucia at Covent Garden.[15] In fact, her first commercial recording of the first and final scene of Lucia reveals her voice and diction to be just as clear as prior to the sinus procedure. Her husband Richard Bonynge stated in an interview that her "mushy diction" occurred while striving to achieve perfect legato. According to him, it is because she earlier had a very Germanic "un-legato" way of singing.[16]

During the 1980s, Sutherland added Anna Bolena, Amalia in I masnadieri, and Adriana Lecouvreur to her repertoire, and repeated Esclarmonde at the Royal Opera House performances in November and December 1983. Her last full-length dramatic performance was as Marguerite de Valois (Les Huguenots) at the Sydney Opera House in 1990, at the age of 63, where she sang Home Sweet Home for her encore.[17] Her last public appearance, however, took place in a gala performance of Die Fledermaus on New Year's Eve, 1990, at Covent Garden, where she was accompanied by her colleagues Luciano Pavarotti and the mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne. According to her own words, given in an interview with The Guardian newspaper in 2002,[18] her biggest achievement was to sing the title role in Esclarmonde. She considered those performances and recordings her best.

Retirement years edit

Sutherland in 1990

After retirement, Sutherland made relatively few public appearances, preferring a quiet life at her home in Les Avants, Switzerland. One exception was her 1994 address at a lunch organised by Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, when Sutherland commented: "It also upsets me that it is such a damned job to get an Australian passport now – you have to go to be interviewed by a Chinese or an Indian. I'm not particularly racist, but I find it ludicrous." Her criticism caused controversy.[19][20]

On 3 July 2008, she fell and broke both legs while gardening at her home in Switzerland.[21]

Film role edit

Sutherland had a leading role as Mother Rudd in the 1995 comedy film Dad and Dave: On Our Selection opposite Leo McKern and Geoffrey Rush.[22]

Publications edit

In 1997, she published an autobiography, A Prima Donna's Progress. It received mixed reviews for its literary merits.[23] Library Journal stated,

Opera superstar Dame Joan Sutherland gives an exhaustive account of her performing and recording career over four decades. From her early years in Australia and with the Covent Garden company in London, to her daunting schedule at most of the major opera houses of the world, we read endlessly of where, when, and with whom she sang which roles. We're shown a sensible woman and a hard-working artist, with a healthy ego tempered by a sense of humor that is often self-deprecating.[24]

The work includes a complete list of all her performances, with full cast lists.

Her official biography, Joan Sutherland: The Authorised Biography, published in February 1994, was written by Norma Major, wife of the then prime minister John Major.[25]

In 2002, she appeared at a dinner in London to accept the Royal Philharmonic Society's gold medal. She gave an interview to The Guardian in which she lamented the lack of technique in young opera singers and the dearth of good teachers.[18] By this time she was no longer giving master classes herself; when asked by Italian journalists in May 2007 why this was, she replied: "Because I'm 80 years old and I really don't want to have anything to do with opera any more, although I do sit on the juries of singing competitions."[26] The Cardiff Singer of the World competition was the one that Sutherland was most closely associated with after her retirement. She began her regular involvement with the event in 1993, serving on the jury five consecutive times and later, in 2003, becoming its patron.[27]

Death edit

Sutherland's grave (right) with a bust of her at the cemetery of Clarens in the Swiss canton of Vaud with Lake Geneva in the background. On the left is the future final resting place of her widower.

On 11 October 2010, Sutherland's family announced that she had died at her home at Les Avants in Switzerland the previous day of cardiopulmonary failure – "the heart just gave out...When it came to the point that she physically couldn't do anything, she didn't want to live any more. She wanted to go, she was happy to go, and in the end she died very, very peacefully."[28][29][30] Though she recovered from her fall in 2008, it led to more serious health problems.[31] A statement from her family said "She's had a long life and gave a lot of pleasure to a lot of people." Sutherland had requested a small, private funeral service.[28] Her funeral was held on 14 October and Opera Australia planned a tribute to her.[31] Artistic director of Opera Australia, Lyndon Terracini, said "We won't see her like again. She had a phenomenal range, size and quality of voice. We simply don't hear that any more."[31] Sutherland is survived by her husband, son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.[32][33]

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said, "She was of course one of the great opera voices of the 20th century," adding that Sutherland showed a lot of "quintessential Australian values. She was described as down to earth despite her status as a diva. On behalf of all Australians I would like to extend my condolences to her husband Richard and son Adam and their extended family at this difficult time. I know many Australians will be reflecting on her life's work today."[34]

Memorial service edit

A State Memorial Service on 9 November 2010, arranged by Opera Australia, was held at the Sydney Opera House.[35] Speakers at the service were Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia; Professor Marie Bashir, the Governor of New South Wales; Moffatt Oxenbould, the former Artistic Director of Opera Australia; and Sutherland's son, Adam Bonynge. The service was broadcast live by both ABC1 television and ABC Classic FM (radio) and streamed globally by ABC News 24. Further memorial services were held in Westminster Abbey on 15 February 2011,[36] and in New York City on 24 May 2011, which was hosted by Marilyn Horne with an appearance by Richard Bonynge. In attendance were Sherrill Milnes, Norman Ayrton, Regina Resnik, and Spiro Malas.

Voice edit

Vocal timbre edit

External audio
  Joan Sutherland as Donna Anna in Mozart's opera Don Giovanni with Carlo Maria Giulini conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra in 1961 – via Internet Archive

Described as "fresh," "silvery" and "bell-like" until 1963,[37] Joan Sutherland's voice later became "golden" and "warm";[3] music critic John Yohalem writes it was like "molten honey caressing the line".[37] In his book Voices, Singers and Critics, John Steane writes that "if the tonal spectrum ranges from bright to dark, Sutherland's place would be near the centre, which is no doubt another reason for her wide appeal."[3] According to John Yohalem, "Her lower register was a cello register, Stradivarius-hued."[37] Her voice was full and rounded even in her highest notes,[38] which were brilliant, but sometimes "slightly acid."[39]

In 1971, Time writes an article comparing Sutherland and Beverly Sills,

Originally bright and youthful-sounding, her voice darkened as she transformed herself into a coloratura. There is a suggestion of Callas' famous middle register in Sutherland's vocal center—a tone that sounds as if the singer were singing into the neck of a resonant bottle. Today the Sutherland voice towers like a natural wonder, unique as Niagara or Mount Everest. Sills' voice is made of more ordinary stuff; what she shares with Callas is an abandon in hurling herself into fiery emotional music and a willingness to sacrifice vocal beauty for dramatic effect. Sutherland deals in vocal velvet, Sills in emotional dynamite. Sutherland's voice is much larger, but its plush monochrome robs it of carrying power in dramatic moments. Sills' multicolored voice, though smaller, projects better and has a cutting edge that can slice through the largest orchestra and chorus. Sometimes, indeed, it verges on shrillness. [...] In slow, legato music, Sills has a superior sense of rhythm and clean attack to keep things moving; Sutherland's more flaccid beat and her style of gliding from note to note often turn song into somnolence. Sills' diction in English, French and Italian is superb; Sutherland's vocal placement produces mushy diction in any language, but makes possible an even more seamless beauty of tone than is available to Sills.[40]

Describing Sutherland's voice, John Yohalem writes:

On my personal color scale, which runs from a voluptuous red (Tebaldi) or blood-orange (Price) or purple (Caballé) or red-purple (Troyanos) to white-hot (Rysanek) or runny yellow-green (Sills), Sutherland is among the "blue" sopranos – which has nothing to do with "blues" in the pop sense of the term. (Ella Fitzgerald had a blue voice, but Billie Holiday had a blues voice, which is very different.) Diana Damrau is blue. Mirella Freni is blue-ish. Karita Mattila is ice blue. Régine Crespin was deep blue shading to violet. Sutherland was true blue (like the Garter ribbon). There is a coolness here that can take on the passion in the music but does not inject passion where the music lacks it, could possibly use it.[37]

Vocal category, size and range edit

External audio
  Joan Sutherland as Elvira in Vincenzo Bellini's opera I puritani with Richard Bonynge conducting the London Symphony Orchestra with Luciano Pavarotti as Arturo in 1974 – via Internet Archive

Although she is generally described as a dramatic coloratura soprano, "categorizing Sutherland's voice has always been extremely difficult, both the size and the sound present definitional problems [...] Aside from singing some roles popular among coloratura sopranos, Sutherland's voice could not be more different."[3]

In a 1961 profile in The New York Times Magazine, Sutherland said she initially had "a big rather wild voice" that was not heavy enough for Wagner, although she did not realise this until she heard "Wagner sung as it should be."[11]

Regarding the size of Sutherland's voice, Opera Britannia praise "a voice of truly heroic dimensions singing bel canto. It is doubtful if any soprano in this repertoire has fielded quite so much power and tone as Dame Joan, and this includes Callas and Tetrazzini. The contrast with other sopranos who sing the same roles is appropriately enough stupendous, with rival prima donnas producing small pin points of sound as compared to Sutherland's seemingly endless cascades of full tone."[3] In 1972, music critic Winthrop Sargeant describes her voice "as large as that of a top-ranking Wagnerian soprano" in The New Yorker.[41] French soprano Natalie Dessay states, "She had a huge, huge voice and she was able to lighten suddenly and to take this quick coloratura and she had also the top high notes like a coloratura soprano but with a big, huge voice, which is very rare."[42]

Sutherland's vocal range extended from G below the staff (G3)[11] to high F (F6), or high F-sharp (F6), although she never sang this last note in a public performance.[3][43]

Honours edit

During her career and after, Sutherland received many honours and awards. She was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1961 Birthday Honours.[44] That year she was named the Australian of the Year.[45] Sutherland is a Distinguished Member of the Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity.[46]

In the 1975 Queen's Birthday Honours, she was in the first group of people to be named Companions of the Order of Australia (AC) (the order had been created only in February 1975).[47] She was elevated within the Order of the British Empire from Commander to Dame Commander (DBE) in the 1979 New Year Honours.[48]

On 29 November 1991, the Queen bestowed on Sutherland the Order of Merit (OM).[49]

Awards edit

In 1992 Sutherland was a founding patron and active supporter of the Tait Memorial Trust in London. A charity established by Isla Baring OAM, the daughter of Sir Frank Tait of J. C. Williamson's to support young Australian performing artists in the UK.[50] Sir Frank Tait was the Australian impresario who created and managed the Sutherland-Williamson tour of Australia in 1965.[51]

Sutherland House and the Dame Joan Sutherland Centre, both at St Catherine's School, Waverley, and the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre (JSPAC), Penrith, are all named in her honour.[52]

John Paul College, a leading private school in Queensland, Australia, dedicated its newly established facility the Dame Joan Sutherland Music Centre in 1991. Sutherland visited the centre for its opening and again in 1996.

She received the Lifetime Contribution Award in 2001 Echo Klassik.[53] In January 2004 she received the Australia Post Australian Legends Award which honours Australians who have contributed to the Australian identity and culture. Two stamps featuring Joan Sutherland were issued on Australia Day 2004 to mark the award. Later in 2004, she received a Kennedy Center Honor for her outstanding achievement throughout her career.

On 22 May 2007, the year of the centenary of the birth of soprano Lina Pagliughi, she received the award La Siòla d'Oro at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna.[54]

In 2012, Sutherland was voted into the first Hall of Fame of the magazine Gramophone.[55]

Roles edit

Sutherland performed live the following complete roles.[56]

First performance Composer Work Role House Conductor Director Remarks
20 June 1947 Handel Acis and Galatea Galatea Eastwood Masonic Hall, Sydney Concert performance
30 August 1947 Purcell Dido and Aeneas Dido Lyceum Club, Sydney Concert performance
15 July 1950 Handel Samson Dalila and Israelite woman Sydney Town Hall Concert performance; Sutherland made her professional role debut as the Israelite woman on 14 October 1958
9 July 1951 Goossens Judith Judith Sydney Conservatorium of Music Goossens Sutherland's first complete staged opera
16 July 1952 Puccini Il tabarro Giorgetta Parry Theatre, RCM Richard Austin Peter Rice/Pauline Elliot
28 October 1952 Mozart The Magic Flute First lady ROH, Covent Garden Pritchard Messel Sutherland's professional debut
3 November 1952 Verdi Aida High Priestess ROH, Covent Garden Barbirolli Cruddas
8 November 1952 Bellini Norma Clotilde ROH, Covent Garden Gui Barlow
29 December 1952 Verdi Un ballo in maschera Amelia ROH, Covent Garden Pritchard Barlow/Stone Sutherland's first leading role
24 February 1953 Mozart The Marriage of Figaro Countess Almaviva ROH tour, Edinburgh J Gibson Gerard
13 May 1953 Strauss Elektra Overseer ROH, Covent Garden Kleiber Lambert
11 August 1953 Britten Gloriana Lady Rich ROH tour, Bulawayo
19 October 1953 Wagner Die Walküre Helmwige ROH, Covent Garden Stiedry Pemberton
2 November 1953 Bizet Carmen Frasquita ROH, Covent Garden Pritchard Wakhévitch
4 February 1954 Verdi Aida Aida ROH, Covent Garden E Young Cruddas
23 March 1954 Weber Der Freischütz Agathe ROH, Covent Garden Downes Furse
30 April 1954 Piccinni La buona figliuola Lucinda Mackerras BBC radio broadcast
27 May 1954 Wagner Der Ring des Nibelungen Woglinde and Woodbird ROH, Covent Garden Stiedry Hurry Sutherland also sang the role of Helmwige, which she had sung previously; the other dates of the cycle were 2, 8, and 17 June
17 November 1954 Offenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann Antonia ROH, Covent Garden Downes Wakhévitch
27 January 1955 Tippett The Midsummer Marriage Jenifer ROH, Covent Garden Pritchard Hepworth World premiere; Sutherland created the role
28 February 1955 Offenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann Giulietta ROH tour, Glasgow Downes Wakhévitch
19 June 1955 Offenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann Olympia ROH, Covent Garden Downes Wakhévitch
30 September 1955 Weber Euryanthe Euryanthe Stiedry BBC radio broadcast
30 October 1955 Bizet Carmen Micaela ROH, Covent Garden Downes Wakhévitch
11 March 1956 Mozart La clemenza di Tito Vitellia Pritchard BBC radio broadcast
10 November 1956 Mozart The Magic Flute Pamina ROH, Covent Garden J Gibson Messel
28 January 1957 Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Eva ROH, Covent Garden Kubelík Wakhévitch
19 March 1957 Handel Alcina Alcina St Pancras Town Hall Farncombe [es; fr]
8 June 1957 Verdi Rigoletto Gilda ROH, Covent Garden Downes Gellner
5 July 1957 Mozart Der Schauspieldirektor Mme Hertz Glyndebourne Festival Opera Balkwill Rice
16 August 1957 Scarlatti Mitridate Eupatore Laodice Appia BBC radio broadcast
8 September 1957 Donizetti Emilia di Liverpool Emilia Pritchard BBC radio broadcast
21 December 1957 Verdi Otello Desdemona ROH, Covent Garden Downes Wakhévitch
16 January 1958 Poulenc Dialogues of the Carmelites Mme Lidoine ROH, Covent Garden Kubelík Wakhévitch
24 May 1958 Haydn Applausus Musicus Temperantia Newstone BBC radio broadcast
26 July 1958 Mozart Don Giovanni Donna Anna Vancouver Opera Goldschmidt Maximowna
17 February 1959 Donizetti Lucia di Lammermoor Lucia ROH, Covent Garden Serafin Zeffirelli This performance marked the beginning of Sutherland's international career
24 June 1959 Handel Rodelinda Rodelinda Sadler's Wells Theatre Farncombe Pidcock
8 January 1960 Verdi La traviata Violetta Valéry ROH, Covent Garden Santi Fedorovitch
24 May 1960 Bellini I puritani Elvira Glyndebourne Festival Opera Gui Heeley
19 October 1960 Bellini La sonnambula Amina ROH, Covent Garden Serafin Sanjust
21 February 1961 Bellini Beatrice di Tenda Beatrice New York Town Hall Rescigno Concert performance; Sutherland first performed this role on stage on 10 May 1961
4 January 1962 Mozart The Magic Flute The Queen of the Night ROH, Covent Garden Klemperer Eisler
28 May 1962 Meyerbeer Les Huguenots Maguerite de Valois La Scala Gavazzeni Nicola Benois
17 December 1962 Rossini Semiramide Semiramide La Scala Santini
20 June 1963 Handel Giulio Cesare Cleopatra Sadler's Wells Theatre Farncombe Warre
17 October 1963 Bellini Norma Norma Vancouver Opera Bonynge McLance/Mess
9 March 1965 Gounod Faust Marguerite Connecticut Opera Bonynge Rome/Brooks van Horne
2 June 1966 Donizetti La fille du régiment Marie ROH, Covent Garden Bonynge Anni/Escoffier
10 April 1967 Delibes Lakmé Lakmé Seattle Opera Bonynge
21 May 1967 Haydn L'anima del filosofo Euridice Theater an der Wien Bonynge Ludwig
12 November 1971 Donizetti Maria Stuarda Maria Stuarda San Francisco Opera Bonynge Pizzi
26 October 1972 Donizetti Lucrezia Borgia Lucrezia Vancouver Opera Bonynge Varona
14 September 1973 J.Strauss II Die Fledermaus Rosalinde San Francisco Opera Bonynge
23 October 1974 Massenet Esclarmonde Esclarmonde San Francisco Opera Bonynge Montressor
12 September 1975 Verdi Il trovatore Leonora San Francisco Opera Bonynge Hager/Skalicki
22 April 1976 Lehár The Merry Widow Hanna Glavari Vancouver Opera Bonynge Varona
16 July 1977 Puccini Suor Angelica Suor Angelica Sydney Opera House Bonynge Digby
23 September 1977 Massenet Le roi de Lahore Sita Vancouver Opera Bonynge Mariani
4 July 1979 Mozart Idomeneo Elettra Sydney Opera House Bonynge Truscott
2 July 1980 Verdi I masnadieri Amalia Sydney Opera House Bonynge Lees/Stennett
22 May 1983 Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur Adriana San Diego Opera Bonynge O'Hearn/Mess
22 June 1984 Donizetti Anna Bolena Anna Bolena Canadian Opera Company, Toronto Bonynge Pascoe/Stennett
4 October 1985 Thomas Hamlet Ophélie Canadian Opera Company, Toronto Bonynge Shalicki/Digby/Stennett

Recordings edit


Sutherland made various recital and lieder recordings, usually with Richard Bonynge, many of them originally double-LPs. Some are still available in CD-format.

In 2011 Decca re-released these recitals in a 23-CD set (Complete Decca Studio Recitals, Decca 4783243) comprising:

  • Operatic Arias (1959)
  • The Art of the Prima Donna (1960) 2CD
  • Command Performance (1962) 2CD
  • The Age of Bel Canto (with Marilyn Horne and Richard Conrad, 1963) 2CD
  • Joy to the World (Christmas Album, 1965)
  • The Noël Coward Album (1966)
  • Love Live Forever (1966) 2CD
  • Romantic French Arias (1969) 2CD
  • Songs My Mother Taught Me (1972)
  • Operatic Duets (with Luciano Pavarotti, 1976)
  • Serate Musicali (1978) 2CD
  • Sutherland sings Wagner (1978)
  • Sutherland sings Mozart (1979)
  • Bel Canto Arias (1985)
  • Talking Pictures (1986)
  • Romantic Trios, Songs for soprano, horn and piano (1987)
  • Rarities and first recordings (1958/59 to 1967/68)

Opera recordings (non-exhaustive)

Vincenzo Bellini

  • Beatrice di Tenda—Joan Sutherland (Beatrice), Luciano Pavarotti (Orombello), Cornelius Opthof (Filippo), Josephine Veasey (Agnese), Joseph Ward (Anichino/Rizzardo), Ambrosian Opera Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Bonynge, recorded 1966 Decca
  • I puritani—Joan Sutherland (Elvira), Pierre Duval (Arturo), Renato Capecchi (Riccardo), Ezio Flagello (Giorgio), Giovanni Fioiani (Gualtiero), Margreta Elkins (Enrichetta), Piero de Palma (Bruno), Coro e Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Richard Bonynge (conductor)—recorded 1963—Decca 448 969-2 / Decca 467 789-2 (part of a 10-CD set) / London POCL 3965-7
  • I puritani—Joan Sutherland (Elvira), Luciano Pavarotti (Arturo), Piero Cappuccilli (Riccardo), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Giorgio), Giancarlo Luccardi (Gualtiero), Anita Caminada (Enrichetta), Renato Cazzaniga (Bruno), Chorus of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, London Symphony Orchestra—Richard Bonynge, recorded 1973, Decca
  • La sonnambula—Joan Sutherland (Amina), Nicola Monti (Elvino), Fernando Corena (Rodolfo), Sylvia Stahlman (Lisa), Margreta Elkins (Teresa), Angelo Mercuriali (Notary), Giovanni Fioiani (Alessio), Coro e Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Richard Bonynge recorded 1962—Decca 00289 448 9662 6 / 000320702 / 455 823-2—Track listing
  • La sonnambula—Joan Sutherland (Amina), Luciano Pavarotti (Elvino), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Rodolfo), Isobel Buchanan (Lisa), Della Jones (Teresa), Piero De Palma (Notaro), John Tomlinson (Alessio), National Philharmonic Orchestra, London Opera Chorus, Richard Bonynge, recorded 1980—Decca 2LH417-424
  • Norma—Joan Sutherland (Norma), Marilyn Horne (Adalgisa), John Alexander (Pollione), Richard Cross (Oroveso), Yvonne Minton (Clotilde), Joseph Ward (Flavio), London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Richard Bonynge, recorded 1964—Decca
  • Norma—Joan Sutherland (Norma), Margreta Elkins (Adalgisa), Ronald Stevens (Pollione), Clifford Grant (Oroveso), Etela Piha (Clotilde), Trevor Brown (Flavio), Opera Australia Chorus, Elizabethan Sydney Orchestra, Richard Bonynge, recorded 1978—DVD Arthaus Musik 100 180
  • Norma—Joan Sutherland (Norma), Montserrat Caballé (Adalgisa), Luciano Pavarotti (Pollione), Samuel Ramey (Oroveso), Diana Montague (Clotilde), Kim Begley (Flavio), Chorus and Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, Richard Bonynge, recorded 1984—Decca

Georges Bizet

  • CarmenRegina Resnik (Carmen), Mario Del Monaco (Don Jose), Joan Sutherland (Micaëla), Tom Krause (Escamillo), Georgette Spanellys (Frasquita), Yvonne Minton (Mercedes), Robert Geay (Zuniga), Jean Prudent (Le Dancaire), Alfred Hallet (Le Remendado), Claude Cales (Morales). Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, recorded 1963

Giovanni Bononcini

Francesco Cilea

Léo Delibes

Gaetano Donizetti

  • Emilia di Liverpool (excerpts) / Lucia di Lammermoor (excerpts)—Joan Sutherland (Lucia), Margreta Elkins (Alisa), Joao Gibin (Edgardo), Tullio Serafin (conductor). Recorded 26 February 1959—Myto Records MCD 91545 (Probably these are excerpts from the same performance as the Melodram recording.)
  • Lucia di Lammermoor—Joan Sutherland (Lucia), Renato Cioni (Edgardo), Robert Merrill (Enrico), Cesare Siepi (Raimondo), Chorus & Orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, John Pritchard (conductor), Decca, 1961.
  • Lucia di Lammermoor—Joan Sutherland (Lucia), Luciano Pavarotti (Edgardo), Sherrill Milnes(Enrico), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Raimondo), Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Richard Bonynge, Decca, 1971.
  • Lucia di Lammermoor—Joan Sutherland (Lucia), João Gibin (Edgardo), John Shaw (Enrico), Joseph Rouleau (Raimondo), Kenneth MacDonald (Arturo), Margreta Elkins (Alisa), Robert Bowman (Normanno), Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Tullio Serafin, recorded 1959—Golden Melodram GM 50024 or Giuseppe di Stefano GDS 21017 or Bella Voce BLV 107 218 (highlights). 2006 release: Royal Opera House Heritage Series ROHS 002.
  • Lucia di Lammermoor—Joan Sutherland (Lucia), André Turp (Edgardo), John Shaw (Enrico), Joseph Rouleau (Raimondo), Kenneth MacDonald (Arturo), Margreta Elkins (Alisa), Edgar Evans (Normanno), Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, John Pritchard, recorded 1961—Celestial Audio CA 345
  • Lucia di Lammermoor—Joan Sutherland (Lucia), Richard Tucker (Edgardo), Frank Guarrera (Enrico), Nicola Moscona (Raimondo), Robert Nagy (Normanno), Thelma Votipka (Alisa), Charles Anthony (Arturo), Metropolitan Opera House, conductor: Silvio Varviso. Recorded 9 December 1961 for radio broadcasting.
  • La fille du régiment—Joan Sutherland (Marie), Luciano Pavarotti (Tonio), Monica Sinclair (La Marquise de Berkenfield), Jules Bruyère (Hortensius), Spiro Malas (Sulpice), Eric Garrett (Le Caporal), Edith Coates (La Duchesse de Crakentorp), Orchestra & Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Richard Bonynge. Recorded: Kingsway Hall, London, 17–28 July 1967. Original LP release: SET 372-3 (two LPs), CD release: 414 520-2 DH2 (two CDs).
  • L'elisir d'amore—Joan Sutherland (Adina), Luciano Pavarotti (Nemorino), Dominic Cossa (Belcore), Spiro Malas (Dulcamara), Maria Casula [it] (Giannetta), Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra, Richard Bonynge. Recorded: Kingsway Hall, London, 12–23 January and 1–10 July 1970. Original LP release: SET 503-5 (three LPs), CD release: 414 461-2 DH2 (two CDs), CD re-release: 475 7514 DOR2 (two CDs).
  • Lucrezia Borgia—Joan Sutherland (Lucrezia Borgia), Ronald Stevens (Gennaro), Margreta Elkins (Maffio Orsini), Richard Allman (Don Alfonso), Robin Donald (Jacopo Liveretto), Lyndon Terracini (Don Apostolo Gazella), Gregory Yurisich (Ascanio Petrucci), Lamberto Furlan (Oloferno Vitellozzo), Pieter Van der Stolk (Gubetta), Graeme Ewer (Rustighello), John Germain (Astolfo), Neville Grave (Un servo), Eddie Wilden (Un coppiere), Jennifer Bermingham (Principessa Negroni), Australian Opera Chorus, Sydney Elizabethan Orchestra, Richard Bonynge, recorded 1977. VHS Video Cassette—Castle Video CV2845 (PAL); Polygram-Vidéo 070 031-3 (SECAM) Polygram 079 261-3 (PAL)
  • Lucrezia Borgia—Joan Sutherland (Lucrezia), Giacomo Aragall (Gennaro), Marilyn Horne (Orsini), Ingvar Wixell (Alfonso), London Opera Chorus, National Philharmonic Orchestra, Richard Bonynge (conductor), Decca, 1977.
  • Maria Stuarda—Joan Sutherland (Maria), Huguette Tourangeau (Elisabeta), Luciano Pavarotti (Leicester), Roger Soyer (Talbot), Margreta Elkins (Anna), James Morris (Cecil), Coro del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Richard Bonynge, recorded 1975—Decca 00289 425 4102 / Lyrica LRC 1040/1041—Track listing and excerpts

Charles Gounod

George Frideric Handel

  • Acis and Galatea—Joan Sutherland (Galatea), Peter Pears (Acis), Owen Brannigan (Polyphemus), David Galliver (Damon), The St. Anthony Singers, Philomusica of London, Sir Adrian Boult (conductor). L'Oiseau-Lyre OL 50179-80
  • Alcina—Joan Sutherland (Alcina), Margreta Elkins (Ruggiero), Lauris Elms (Bradamante), Richard Greager (Oronte), Narelle Davidson (Morgana), Ann-Maree McDonald (Oberto), John Wegner (Melisso), Chorus and Orchestra of Australian Opera, Richard Bonynge, recorded 1983. Celestial Audio CA 112
  • Alcina coupled with Giulio Cesare in Egitto (highlights)—Margreta Elkins (Giulio Cesare), Joan Sutherland (Cleopatra), Marilyn Horne (Cornelia), Monica Sinclair (Tolomeo), Richard Conrad (Sesto), New Symphonic Orchestra of London, Richard Bonynge—Decca 00289 433 7232 / 467063-2 / 467 067-2—Track listing and excerpts
  • Athalia—Joan Sutherland, Emma Kirkby, Aled Jones, James Bowman, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, David Thomas, The Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood (conductor)
  • Messiah—Joan Sutherland, Grace Bumbry, Kenneth McKellar, David Ward, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult (conductor)—Decca 433 003-2
  • Rodelinda—Alfred Hallett (Grimoaldo), Raimund Herincx (Garibaldo), Joan Sutherland (Rodelinda), Dame Janet Baker (Eduige), Margreta Elkins (Bertarido), Patricia Kern (Unolfo), Chandos Singers, Philomusica Antiqua Orchestra, Charles Farncombe. An English language version, recorded live on 24 June 1959—Opera D'oro OPD 1189 (two CDs) or Memories HR 4577-4578 or Living Stage LS 403 35147 (highlights).
  • Rodelinda—Joan Sutherland (Rodelinda), Huguette Tourangeau (Bertarido), Éric Tappy (Grimoaldo), Margreta Elkins (Eduige), Cora Canne-Meijer (Unolfo), Pieter Van Den Berg (Garibaldo), Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Richard Bonynge. Recorded 30 June 1973—Bella Voce BLV 10 7206.

Jules Massenet

Giacomo Meyerbeer

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Jacques Offenbach

  • Les contes d'Hoffmann—Joan Sutherland (Stella\Olympia\Antonia\Giulietta), Plácido Domingo (Hoffmann), Gabriel Bacquier (Lindorf\Coppelius\Miracle\Dappertutto), L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre du Radio de la Suisse Romande, Pro Arte de Lausanne, Andre Charlet, Richard Bonynge, studio recording made at Victoria Hall, Geneva, first published in 1976.

Giacomo Puccini

Gioachino Rossini

  • Semiramide—Joan Sutherland (Semiramide), John Serge (Idreno), Joseph Rouleau (Assur), Spiro Malas (Oroe), Patricia Clark (Azema), Leslie Fyson(Mitrane), Michael Langdon (Spectre of Nino), Marilyn Horne (Arsace), London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Bonynge. Decca 425 481-2, recorded in 1966.

Ambroise Thomas

  • Hamlet—Joan Sutherland, Gösta Winbergh, James Morris, Sherill Milnes, Orchestra and Chorus of the Welsh National Opera. Decca, 433 857-2, recorded in April 1983.

Giuseppe Verdi

Richard Wagner

  • Siegfried—Joan Sutherland as the Woodbird, Vienna Philharmonic (Sir Georg Solti) 1962 recording, London 414 110-2

Video recordings

References edit

  1. ^ a b McVicker, Jason (11 October 2010). "Remembering 'La Stupenda'". NPR. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Australian soprano Dame Joan Sutherland dies". Brisbane Times. 12 October 2010. Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Icons of Opera – Dame Joan Sutherland", Opera Britannia (6 July 2009). Retrieved 27 September 2010. Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Major, Norma (1992). "Sutherland, Dame Joan". In Sadie, Stanley (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Vol. 4. London: Macmillan. p. 612.
  5. ^ a b Matthew Boyden; Nick Kimberley (2002). The Rough Guide to Opera. Rough Guides. p. 683. ISBN 9781858287492.
  6. ^ "Young soprano triumphs", The West Australian (4 October 1949)
  7. ^ Germain, John (31 May 2002). "A baritone who was 'showbiz' through and through". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  8. ^ "Mobilquest Won by Soprano". The Advertiser (Adelaide). Vol. 93, no. 28, 677. South Australia. 7 September 1950. p. 7. Retrieved 14 July 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Vale – Ken Neate". www.operafolks.com.
  10. ^ The Art of the Prima Donna by Dame Joan Sutherland, National Film and Sound Archive
  11. ^ a b c Tommasini, Anthony. "Joan Sutherland, Flawless Soprano, Is Dead at 83". The New York Times. 11 October 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2011. (subscription required)
  12. ^ Performers' Report, MetOpera database
  13. ^ "Met Gala Concert". archives.metoperafamily.org. 12 March 1989.
  14. ^ Henahan, Donal (16 February 1986). "Music View; The mystery of casting at the Met". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Joan Sutherland, Russell Braddon, Collins, 1962
  16. ^ Joan Sutherland talks about high notes—part 2 on YouTube
  17. ^ "Australia." The 1991 World Book Year Book. Chicago:World Book, Inc., 1991. ISBN 0-7166-0491-4.
  18. ^ a b Martin Kettle, "I didn't want to be a diva", The Guardian, 8 May 2002.
  19. ^ "Dame Joan Sutherland". Sunday Profile. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 27 March 2005. Archived from the original on 22 December 2007. Retrieved 21 December 2007.
  20. ^ Hide, Carolyn (1996). "Background Paper 9 1995–96: The Recent Republic Debate—A Chronology". Background Papers published 1995–96. Australian Parliamentary Library. Archived from the original on 1 February 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2007. 7 October 1994 Dame Joan Sutherland addressed a lunch organised by Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and said: I was brought up having a British passport and it upsets me that I don't have a British passport now ...; When I go to the post office to be interviewed by a Chinese or an Indian – I'm not particularly racist – but I find it ludicrous, when I've had a passport for 40 years.
  21. ^ "Dame Joan Sutherland breaks both legs in fall". ABC News. 4 July 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  22. ^ Dad and Dave: On Our Selection at IMDb  
  23. ^ "One Long Flat Note", Anthony Clarke, The Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum, 20 December 1997, p. 10
  24. ^ Review of ''A Prima Donna's Progress in Library Journal, via amazon.com
  25. ^ "John Major". British Prime Minister's Office. Archived from the original on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  26. ^ Alberto Mattioli, "Big Luciano, un video per la Stupenda Joan", La Stampa, 23 May 2007.
  27. ^ "BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2005". Archived from the original on 16 February 2006. Retrieved 2006-02-16.
  28. ^ a b "Opera star Dame Joan Sutherland dies aged 83". BBC News Online. 11 October 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  29. ^ "Family: Soprano Joan Sutherland has died, age 83". Associated Press. 11 October 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010.[dead link]
  30. ^ "My last days with opera's grandest dame Joan Sutherland". The Australian. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  31. ^ a b c Westwood, Matthew (12 October 2010). "Voice of the century, Dame Joan Sutherland, dies aged 83". Herald Sun. The Herald and Weekly Times. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  32. ^ Collett-White, Mike (11 October 2010). "Opera great Joan Sutherland dies aged 83". Reuters. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  33. ^ Barry, Colleen; Jahn, George (11 October 2010). "Joan Sutherland, 'voice of the century,' dies". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 14 October 2010. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  34. ^ "Joan Sutherland dies at 83". Archived from the original on 22 February 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  35. ^ Joyce Morgan, "A Fitting Finale for La Stupenda", 10 November 2010, The Sydney Morning Herald
  36. ^ "A Service of Thanksgiving for the late Dame Joan Sutherland". www.westminster-abbey.org.
  37. ^ a b c d "Joan Sutherland: My Starter Diva" by John Yohalem, Opera Today (13 October 2010)
  38. ^ Delphine Raph. "Dame Joan Sutherland, soprano – portrait (1926–2010)". Classique News (in French). Archived from the original on 20 December 2010.
  39. ^ "Joan Sutherland, une diva s'en va". 13 October 2010.
  40. ^ "Music: Sutherland: A Separate Greatness". Time. 22 November 1971. Archived from the original on 21 December 2008.
  41. ^ Boehm, Mike (12 October 2010). "Joan Sutherland dies at 83; ranked among the most powerful divas of the 20th century". Los Angeles Times.
  42. ^ Natalie Dessay talks about Joan Sutherland and Maria Callas on YouTube. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  43. ^ Joan Sutherland talks about high notes on YouTube. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  44. ^ "It's an Honour – Honours – Search Australian Honours". www.itsanhonour.gov.au.
  45. ^ Lewis, Wendy (2010). Australians of the Year. Pier 9 Press. ISBN 978-1-74196-809-5.
  46. ^ SAI History, Sigma Alpha Iota – Theta Iota chapter
  47. ^ "It's an Honour – Honours – Search Australian Honours". www.itsanhonour.gov.au.
  48. ^ "It's an Honour – Honours – Search Australian Honours". www.itsanhonour.gov.au.
  49. ^ "It's an Honour – Honours – Search Australian Honours". www.itsanhonour.gov.au.
  50. ^ "History". 21 October 2016.
  51. ^ "Sir Frank Tait 1883–1965", Live Performance Australia – Hall of Fame
  52. ^ "The Passing of Opera Legend Dame Joan Sutherland"[dead link], The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre (12 October 2010)
  53. ^ "Echo Klassik 2001 im Baden-Badener Festspielhaus". Südwestrundfunk. 21 September 2001. Retrieved 29 January 2021 – via pressportal.de.
  54. ^ "Jessica Pratt vince la XV edizione del premio Pagliughi" by Federica Bianchi, Comune di Cesena, 2 May 2013
  55. ^ "Dame Joan Sutherland (soprano)". Gramophone. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  56. ^ This list is taken from the complete list of Sutherland's performances up to and including 18 December 1986 on pp. 204–241 of Norma Major's book Joan Sutherland, published 1987

Further reading edit

External links edit