Skip to comments.Joan Sutherland, Flawless Soprano, Is Dead at 83
Posted on 10/12/2010 7:56:00 AM PDT by La Lydia
Joan Sutherland, one of the most acclaimed sopranos of the 20th century, a singer of such power and range that she was crowned La Stupenda, died on Sunday at her home in Switzerland. She was 83...It was Italys notoriously picky critics who dubbed the Australian-born Ms. Sutherland the Stupendous One after her Italian debut, in Venice in 1960. And for 40 years the name endured with opera lovers around the world. Her 1961 debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, in Donizettis Lucia di Lammermoor, generated so much excitement that standees began lining up at 7:30 that morning. Her singing of the Mad Scene drew a thunderous 12-minute ovation.
Ms. Sutherlands 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...
In her repertory choices Ms. Sutherland ranged widely during the 1950s, singing lighter lyric Mozart roles like the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro and heavier Verdi roles like Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera. Even then, astute listeners realized that she was en route to becoming something extraordinary.
In a glowing and perceptive review of her performance as Desdemona in Verdis Otello at Covent Garden in London in late 1957, the critic Andrew Porter, writing in The Financial Times, commended her for not sacrificing purity to power....
She became an international sensation after her career-defining performance in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden..
Other sopranos may have been more musically probing and dramatically vivid. But few were such glorious vocalists. After hearing her New York debut in Beatrice di Tenda at Town Hall, the renowned Brazilian soprano Bidú Sayão, herself beloved for the sheer beauty of her voice, said, If there is perfection in singing, this is it.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Although I sang twice with her husband, the conductor Richard Bonynge, I only met her once after a production of "Les contes d'Hoffmann", well after her retirement.
She walked up me, patted me on the shoulder and said, "Good boy!" That was good enough for me from a performer whose voice had qualities that I doubt we will ever hear again. Addio, Maestra.
Thanks for the ping!
Borges already pinged a similar thread yesterday:
If you think there's something unique about this article, I'll ping it, too.
Anthony Tommassini is one of the best Classical writers in the country so his obit is worth another ping imo.
A real talent!
thank you for adding this wonderful article.
Fortunately, this has been corrected.
Actually the name was in the headline. I kept the gist of the headline because it was very long.