Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Joan Sutherland: 1926-2010

Joan Sutherland performing the Mad Scene from Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden
I was very sorry to hear on the BBC yesterday that the great soprano Dame Joan Sutherland had died at her home in Switzerland. One of the great technicians of the operatic stage, she possessed a formidable vocal range and excelled at the exacting and demanding bel canto roles of Donizetti, Bellini and Verdi. I feel I should admit she was a particular hero of mine not only because her beautiful voice and flawless technique are inspiring, but because she was six feet tall and had a pointy chin, two qualities that made my brief stab at a stage career very, very difficult.

I've included a clip of her performing "Vissi d'arte" (I lived for art) from Puccini's Tosca, because this is the Sutherland recording I listen to most often, but also because I thought it was a fitting tribute to La Stupenda.

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