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#1534128 - 10/12/10 07:47 PM OT - La Stupenda! - OT
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19039
Loc: Victoria, BC
One of the most acclaimed sopranos of the 20th century, Joan Sutherland, has died at the age of 83.

The New York Times obituary is here :


For those of us who had the opportunity to hear her "in the house," the voice was as glorious - if not more so - as it was on recordings. The flawless technique, the beautiful phrasing, the effortless fioritura, and the tonal quality of the voice left most opera lovers in awe. She truly lived up to her dubbing as "La Stupenda!"

It was my good fortune to have heard her live four times in the opera repertoire in which she excelled, and I once heard her in recital.

For many of us there is a close link among piano, Chopin, and Joan Sutherland. Sutherland excelled in the bel canto repertoire (Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini), and it was Chopin who urged his piano students to attend bel canto operas - he even mentions Bellini specifically - to understand what a legato line was all about.

At one point Pavarotti was claimed to have said that everything he learned about bel canto singing he learned from Sutherland.

I grew up on her recordings and her performances and mourn her passing.

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Estonia 190

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#1534144 - 10/12/10 08:13 PM Re: OT - La Stupenda! - OT [Re: BruceD]
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 6099
Loc: Down Under
Our classical music radio station was playing her recordings all day yesterday - there were quite a few I hadn't heard before, actually. And many messages from people who worked with her, or met her, including (my favourite) a woman who was having a record signed by her, with the recording playing in the background. Dame Joan said "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name. I can't hear with the din that woman is making."
(I met her once, but no funny story. frown )

An absolutely amazing voice and technique.
Du holde Kunst...

#1534148 - 10/12/10 08:17 PM Re: OT - La Stupenda! - OT [Re: BruceD]
gooddog Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 5111
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I was very saddened to read her obituary in today's paper. Even with my ignorance of opera, I knew of Joan Sutherland and her exquisite voice. What a loss.
Best regards,


#1534150 - 10/12/10 08:19 PM Re: OT - La Stupenda! - OT [Re: BruceD]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6424
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
She was wonderful, I have been listening to her all day yesterday....

Music is my best friend.

#1534155 - 10/12/10 08:29 PM Re: OT - La Stupenda! - OT [Re: BruceD]
Carey Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 7227
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: BruceD

I grew up on her recordings and her performances and mourn her passing.


An amazing talent and a great loss to the opera world
Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai CA-65
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

#1534220 - 10/12/10 10:29 PM Re: OT - La Stupenda! - OT [Re: BruceD]
Happy Birthday Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6430
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Oh, wow! One of my voice major friends here at college told me shortly after it happened. Afterward, I listened to some of her playing on YouTube. I don't know how to critique vocal music, but it was amazing.

Can you recommend me some things by her to listen to?

#1534243 - 10/12/10 11:06 PM Re: OT - La Stupenda! - OT [Re: Orange Soda King]
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9138
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King

Can you recommend me some things by her to listen to?

Yes. Don't miss this one.

There was quite a flurry of activity on the Radio 3 message boards, and that recording was constantly mentioned. It is Sutherland in her absolute prime. Not to be missed. No one ever sang quite like that.


#1534302 - 10/13/10 12:35 AM Re: OT - La Stupenda! - OT [Re: BruceD]
LaReginadellaNotte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 419
Joan Sutherland truly had a phenomenal voice. She had the weight of a dramatic soprano, but the agility of a coloratura. Her voice possessed exceptional limpid purity, and her coloratura technique was outstanding. Sutherland's trill was probably the best of any singer from the past 60 years. However, it appears that she was never able to sing triplets properly. When she sang both the Queen of the Night and "The soldier tir'd", her triplets were rhythmically inaccurate: they were approaching two sixteenth notes and an eighth note.

As to recommendations, I would certainly listen to Sutherland's Lucia. Although it lacks the dramatic depth of Callas' portrayal, Sutherland's Lucia is perhaps the most vocally splendid recording of the role: a definite classic.

I would also suggest that you listen to Sutherland's live recording of the Queen of the Night at Covent Garden, which is available at youtube. Despite the fact that she sang the first aria a half tone lower and the second aria a whole tone lower (not to mention the botched triplets in the second aria), the sheer dramatic power and authority that she brought to the role is astounding. You can literally hear her voice bouncing off of the walls. It is very unusual to hear a voice that large and powerful singing the Queen of the Night. Sutherland may be the largest-voiced singer ever to essay the role.
Recent Repertoire:
Liszt: Concerto #1 in Eb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dY9Qw8Z7ao
Bach: Partita #2 in c minor
Beethoven: Sonata #23 in f minor, Opus 57 ("Appassionata")
Chopin: Etudes Opus 25 #6,9,10,11,12
Prokofiev: Sonata #3 in a minor
Suggestion diabolique

#1534309 - 10/13/10 12:42 AM Re: OT - La Stupenda! - OT [Re: Carey]
Guldesque Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/09
Posts: 42
Loc: United States
It is indeed. I've so enjoyed their duets with Pavarotti. In his interviews he spoke so highly of her knowledge of the voice, breathing techniques etc. Oh, those were the times. Spectacular voices, musicians, artists. The entire generation is slowly going away. Rip Joan Sutherland. You will be missed.

#1534810 - 10/13/10 05:24 PM Re: OT - La Stupenda! - OT [Re: BruceD]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2740
so unlike her voice-type, she recorded one the best Turandots ever, I did some shopping with her in Barcelona, she was such fun company, no stardom at all, I'll miss her, but luckily we have her recordings to last for some time!
Longtemps, je me suis couch´┐Ż de bonne heure, but not anymore!

#1534815 - 10/13/10 05:33 PM Re: OT - La Stupenda! - OT [Re: BruceD]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
Magnificent Norma, Lucia...


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