Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dame Joan Sutherland, R.I.P.

For today's Opera Wednesday, I thought it would be appropriate to remember the life of Dame Joan Sutherland, who died this week at 83.

In this clip, she was Lucrezia, and Stafford Dean was Alfonso in this duet of Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia from 1980, at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

Here are a pair of articles from Dame Joan's native Australia, remembering the great career of "La Stupenda," aka "The Voice of the Century."

Opera Chic has a roundup of Sutherland coverage, including this excellent article on why Sutherland was so unique, which contains this perceptive comment that offers hope to all of us who tend to look back with a sense of melancholy on the long-lost "good old days":

Sutherland makes nostalgia look silly -- there's no repertory that's too hard to bring back to life, if you have the talent. She makes us hope that someone else -- with the right voice and, maybe, the right mentor -- will come after her, to surprise us, to show us once again how it's done, here and now.
And that's as good a note as any to end on.

No, wait - here's a better one:

(Mitchell contributed additional comments to this article.)
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