REWIND: From The Aus­tralian, Oc­to­ber 12, 2010

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Lifelines -

DAME Joan Suther­land, La Stu­penda, the great­est opera singer Aus­tralia has pro­duced, has died in Switzer­land, aged 83. Lyn­don Ter­racini, artis­tic di­rec­tor of Opera Aus­tralia, said last night: ‘‘ We won’t see her like again. She had a phe­nom­e­nal range, size and qual­ity of voice. We sim­ply don’t hear that any more.’’

Suther­land died peace­fully at home in Switzer­land yes­ter­day.

She had been in frail health since she broke both of her legs in a fall in 2008.

The opera world and ad­mir­ers of fine singing ev­ery­where will mourn the pass­ing of the so­prano who was an ex­em­plar of the lyric arts. Her ca­reer-defin­ing per­for­mance as Lu­cia di Lammermoor at the Royal Opera House in Lon­don in 1959 launched her on a world­wide ca­reer that took her to all the great theatres.

She re­turned to Aus­tralia to tour with Lu­ciano Pavarotti in 1965 and, af­ter the open­ing of the Sydney Opera House, re­turned to sing many times. She gave her last per­for­mance there in 1990. Suther­land’s con­duc­tor hus­band, Richard Bonynge, no­ti­fied Opera Aus­tralia of her death.

Ter­racini said Suther­land was a ter­rific col­league, warm and gen­er­ous to her col­leagues. ‘‘ She had a mas­sive ef­fect on Opera Aus­tralia,’’ he said.

‘‘ The influence that she had on her gen­er­a­tion of singers was in­cal­cu­la­ble.

‘‘ She was the great­est opera singer Aus­tralia has pro­duced, and that in­cludes Melba.’’

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