Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Farewell "La Stupenda"

My sister has just informed me that Joan Sutherland has died.  I cannot help it, the tears are flowing.  I had her photo on my wall in Australia and had not decided where to put it yet in Dunedin.  Her voice has given me so much pleasure both in the flesh at the Australian Opera and in recordings.  From what I have read, she was a remarkable person. Thankfully I will be able to continue to hear her remarkable voice.
From the Sydney Morning Herald

"SHE was a transcendental performer who had a magic quality that held audiences captive right around the world. Her influence extended well beyond the opera world and reached into popular culture"
"Lyndon Terracini, the artistic director of Opera Australia, said not only was Sutherland the greatest operatic singer Australia has produced but also one of its most generous and supportive ambassadors of the art form.
''I got to sing with Joan at a number of operas at the Sydney Opera House when I was in my 20s and she was always an interested, open and generous colleague. She was not all protective of her turf.
''When she retired from the stage, she was already a legend and no operatic singer including Melba, in my view, has had that impact, not only in her own art form but to the general public.''
''I think she was undoubtedly one of the most unique voices that one is ever likely to have heard and certainly one of the greatest voices in the history of opera,'' said a former artistic director of Australian Opera, Moffat Oxenbould.
''She had an extraordinary professional ethic … She was a very loyal friend, she was somebody who loved being part of a company … she rehearsed when it was necessary all day, all night, she knew the name of everybody with whom she worked. She was just Joan,'' he said."
Sutherland was nicknamed La Stupenda by an audience at Venice's famous La Fenice opera house in 1960 after a performance of Alcina.
Montserrat Caballé´ described the Australian's voice as being like ''heaven'' and Luciano Pavarotti once called Sutherland the ''voice of the century''.

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