CD Spotlight. A Very Joyous Disc - Brahms arranged by Kenneth Woods impresses Alice McVeigh. '... this is an excellent performance representing a useful, joyful and even inspired addition to the orchestral repertoire.'
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Born in Sydney, Australia, on 7 November 1926, Joan Sutherland became one of the great coloratura sopranos of the twentieth century, from the bel canto roles in Bellini and Donizetti, to parts in Poulenc's Les Dialogues des Carmelites and Tippett's The Midsummer Marriage. She was married to the conductor Richard Bonynge.
Following her Alcina performance at La fenice in 1960, she was nicknamed La Stupenda. Awards include Australian of the Year 1961, Companion of the Order of Australia and CBE (later DBE).
According to Maria Vandamme, MD of Melba Recordings, Sutherland's exalted artistic status was counterbalanced by an intense desire to maintain normality. Whilst queuing at the cafeteria with orchestra members and stage hands, following a blistering dress rehearsal at which Sutherland had practically raised the roof at the Sydney Opera House, she made the comment 'Not bad for an old Dame'.
Sutherland died in Montreux, Switzerland, on 11 October 2010, aged 83.
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