7 November 1926
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
10 October 2010 (aged 83)
Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, OM, AC, DBE (born 7 November 1926, died 10 October 2010) was an Australian dramatic coloratura soprano noted for her contribution to the renaissance of bel canto repertoire commencing in the 1950s.
One of the most remarkable female opera singers of the 20th century, she was dubbed La Stupenda by a La Fenice audience in 1960 after a performance of Handel's "Alcina".
She possessed a voice of beauty and power, combining extraordinary agility, accurate intonation, a splendid trill and a tremendous upper register, albeit she was criticised for her imprecise diction.
Her friend Luciano Pavarotti once called Sutherland the "Voice of the Century", while Montserrat Caballé described the Australian's voice as being like "heaven".
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