Dame Joan Sutherland (1926 – 2010)

The great Dame Joan Sutherland has died. Sutherland died in her home near Geneva in Switzerland on 10th October 2010 at the age of 83. Named as “La Stupenda”, (“The Incomparable”), or “The voice of the century”, as Pavarotti proclaimed her, Sutherland was indeed one of the greatest singers in the 20th century. Together with her conductor husband Richard Bonynge she was instrumental in the launch of Pavarotti’s career in the 1960’s. Without Sutherland and Bonynge the Pavarotti story could have turned out quite differently. Well, without Pavarotti, Sutherland’s and Bonynge’s careers might also have turned out differently, who knows. Anyway, Sutherland and Bonynge continued to collaborate with Pavarotti until the early 1990’s when Sutherland retired from public performances. Sutherland sang on stage and on record with Pavarotti mainly in operas by Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi, and almost always with Bonynge conducting. Watch this clip from the Metropolitan Opera in 1987 where Pavarotti and Sutherland sings a duet from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (Bonynge conducting):

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