Monday, October 11, 2010

So Long, Joan Sutherland (7 Nov 1926 - 11 Oct 2010)

Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, one of the most stupendous operatic coloratura soprano of the last century, passed away at her home near Montreux, Switzerland last night. She was 83 years old.

I confess La Stupenda wasn't one of my favorite singers, but that takes nothing away from her legendary artistic skills and merits. Dame Joan made her dastardly difficult job sound easy (sometimes so easy that she lost the drama-junkies like me in the audience in the process) and was one of the few famous people who actually had a life outside of her art; one that she willingly chose to disappear into after retiring while still very much at the top of her game. It is a great testimony to the fact that one can achieve greatness without being consumed by the vehicle that delivered it. Dame Joan Sutherland is survived by her husband, Richard Bonynge, their son, and grandchildren...

... And by her fans and admirers, of course. Take a time out from the usual dissing of 'the recording industry' today and appreciate the fact that they also make it possible for us who never had the chance to experience artists like Sutherland and others live to still glimpse at their creations via sound and video recordings today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

may she rest in peace. she was really before my time, so I've only heard her a few times via youtube... Thanks for the link to the interview! it's really interesting hearing her talking about practicing the mid-range and trust the body with the high notes. I think it was Frau K (via your translation) who said many young singers nowadays are racing backstage worried sick about nothing but the high notes.