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Dame Joan Sutherland (1926 - 2010)

By Royal Opera House

11 October 2010 at 6.25pm | 6 Comments

The Royal Opera is deeply saddened to hear the news of the death of Dame Joan Sutherland, who died on 10 October 2010.

Antonio Pappano, Music Director, The Royal Opera

“I had the opportunity to work with Joan on two occasions, her first Adriana Lecouvreur (I was the lowly prompter) and Anna Bolena.  She actually was 'Stupenda'.  A lovely human being who could sing anybody off the stage.  And I mean anybody.  What she did for bel canto music and its technique cannot be underestimated.  We have lost one of the true greats.  My sincere condolences to Maestro Bonynge, who played such an important role in Joan's life”.

Dame Joan Sutherland at the Royal Opera House

Dame Joan Sutherland joined the Covent Garden Opera Company in 1952 and made her Royal Opera debut the same year singing First Lady in Die Zauberflöte.   Later that season, she sang the role of High Priestess in Aida, and Clotilde in Norma (alongside Maria Callas and Ebe Stignani). She created the role of Jennifer in the world premiere of Michael Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage in 1955, going on to sing Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) in 1956, Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) and Gilda (Rigoletto) in 1957, and Desdemona (Otello) and Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmélites in 1958.   In 1959 she made her role debut in Lucia di Lammermoor and became an overnight sensation.  Her successful partnership with Pavarotti at Covent Garden began in 1965 in La sonnambula, when she sang role of Amina with Pavarotti singing Elvino.  They sang together again in La Fille du régiment (Marie and Tonio) in 1966, and 1967, followed by performances of Lucia di Lammermoor (Lucia and Edgardo) in 1973.  Joan Sutherland’s subsequent roles at Covent Garden included Norma (1967), Maria Stuarda (1977), Leonora (Il trovatore) in 1981.  Her final performances as Lucia at Covent Garden were in 1985 and her final opera at Covent Garden was Anna Bolena in 1988. She last appeared at Covent Garden on New Year’s Eve 1990 in a gala performance of Die Fledermaus as a special guest, together with Luciano Pavarotti and Marilyn Horne, in the Act II Party Scene.

By Royal Opera House

11 October 2010 at 6.25pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged Dame Joan Sutherland, The Royal Opera

This article has 6 comments

  1. I have posted about this lovely lady over on my website. I saw her in Lucia when I was 12 and have never forgotten that glorious night when the audience went totally potty

  2. Darren Rahaman responded on 11 October 2010 at 7:25pm Reply

    Addio, la stupenda

  3. Pedro Ferreira responded on 11 October 2010 at 9:13pm Reply

    A tremendous loss. Words cannot express how missed she will be though NEVER forgotten. May she rest in peace.

  4. Geoff Whitlock responded on 14 October 2010 at 11:04am Reply

    Farewell to one of opera true greats indeed. Many of us 'older' generation cut our operatic teeth with many of Joan's performances. It's hard to attempt to recreate the sense of magic in the theatre when she sang. However I do feel the Royal Opera House could have made a better effort than concealing everything deep within the website, Mr Pappano's little tribute, and a rather lame biography, and a picture which actually comes from Edinburgh in Haydn's Orfeo. Check out the Metropolitan Opera website for a proper and fitting tribute. She was an artist created by the Royal Opera House, and who in turn drew many people into its performances. The Met has raided its archives for photographs, even gone to youtube. What exactly is the enormous press and archive team doing at the ROH? Isn't this where they should come into play...the ROH should do better...

  5. Aa true great who inspired a 12 year old to pursue an operatic career!

  6. She just kept singing and thrilling the opera fans all over the world. I wonder if she knew how much joy she brought to many lives. We were blessed with her presence. I wonder if Bellini will be her greeter at the pearly gates...ciao..

This article has 1 mention elsewhere

  1. Royal Opera House:  A service of thanksgiving for Dame Joan Sutherland

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