Joan Sutherland

October 11, 2010 by staff 

Joan Sutherland, (AFP) – GENEVA – The family of soprano Joan Sutherland said the opera singer of Australian origin has died aged 83.
Legendary Australian singer Joan Sutherland, hailed as one of the most prodigious sopranos of the 20th century, died at his home in Switzerland, his family said Monday. She was 83.

“The family of Dame Joan Sutherland … We want all our friends and fans know that she died peacefully the evening of Oct. 10 at his home in Switzerland after a long illness, “a statement faxed to AFP by a family assistant said.

Sutherland was heard to have lived in Montreux on Lake Geneva for many years, since retiring from the scene of the opera 20 years ago.

The BBC reported that she had been in poor health after suffering a fall.

“At his own request the funeral will be very small and private,” said family.

Her husband, conductor Richard Bonynge Australian, his son and two grandchildren of Adam survive her.

Sutherland after his debut in Australia in the 1940s, his career began to take off on stages in Europe over the next decade.

In the 1960s she swayed critics who called him “The Stupenda” and was credited with reviving the art of opera “bel canto” Italian in the footsteps of Maria Callas. She was knighted in 1979.

Sutherland made with some of the greatest opera singers of his time, including Luciano Pavarotti, before losing in the final of a series of performances at the Sydney Opera House in his native Australia.

“She was a charismatic personality, an extraordinary virtuoso, a myth, a grande dame of opera who knew Callas,” the head of the house Geneva Grand Theatre de l’Opera, Tobias Richter, told AFP.

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