Australian soprano Dame Joan Sutherland dies: family
Monday 11 October 2010
Legendary Australian opera singer Joan Sutherland, hailed as one of the most stupendous sopranos of the 20th century, has died at her home in Switzerland, her family said Monday. She was 83.
"The family of Dame Joan Sutherland... wishes to let all her friends and admirers know that she passed away very peacefully in the evening of October 10 at her home in Switzerland after a long illness," a statement faxed to AFP by a family assistant said.
Sutherland was understood to have lived in Montreux, by Lake Geneva, for many years since her retirement from the opera stage about 20 years ago.
The BBC reported that she had been in poor health after suffering from a fall.
"At her own request the funeral will be very small and private," the family said.
She is survived by her husband, Australian conductor Richard Bonynge, her son Adam and two grandchildren.
After Sutherland's debut in Australia in the late 1940s, her career started to take off on stages in Europe over the following decade.
By the 1960s she swayed critics who called her "La Stupenda" and was credited with reviving the art of Italian 'bel canto' opera following in the steps of Maria Callas. She was knighted in 1979.
Sutherland performed with some of greatest opera singers of her time, including Luciano Pavarotti, before bowing out in a final series of performances at the Sydney Opera House in her native Australia.
"She was a charismatic personality, an extraordinary virtuoso, a myth, a 'great dame' of opera who knew Callas," the head of Geneva's Grand Theatre opera house, Tobias Richter, told AFP.
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
- 4 Queen's first tweet: Reply telling Her Majesty to 'f*** off' broadcast on BBC News
- 5 #AskNigelFarage: Twitter starts hilarious Q&A for Ukip leader
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year