We, opera lovers all over the world, will always remember you!
Called ‘La Stupenda’ by her Italian fans, Dame Joan was acclaimed across the world for her wide range of roles. But she was particularly praised for her singing of operas by Handel and 19th-century Italian composers.
Spanish soprano Monserrat Caballe once said that the singer’s voice was “like heaven”. Dame Joan was also a mentor and friend to the young Luciano Pavarotti, who later dubbed her the “voice of the century”.
Milan’s La Scala opera house, where Sutherland performed between 1961 and 1966, hailed her as the “queen of bel canto”, a vocal style used in opera in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Sutherland won a Grammy award in 1961 and was made a dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 1979, and received Britain’s prized Order of Merit in 1991. She retired after a final series of performances at the Sydney Opera House in 1990.
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. According to her wish, her funeral would be “very small” and private.