Sutherland, Joan

Also known as
Sutherland, Joan, (Dame) (1926-2010)
Sutherland, Joan (1926-)
Sutherland, Joan (1926-2010)
Field of activity
musician; singer; opera singer; actor; Companion of the Order of Australia (AC); The Order of the British Empire - Dame Commander; The Order of Merit; Kennedy Center Honors; Australian of the Year; Opera singer
Libraries Australia
http://nla.gov.au/anbd.aut-an36096333
NLA Persistent Identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-614081

Biographies

Dame Joan Sutherland was appointed as a Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 30 December 1978 for services to the performing arts. She was also appointed to the Order of Merit in 1991 for Services to opera and singing. In 1983 she was described as, 'quite simply, the greatest and most beloved singer in the world today'. She is known universally, and accurately, as 'La Stupenda'.

  • 7 November 1926 Born: Daughter of McDonald and Muriel Alston Sutherland
  • 12 October 1946 Married: Richard Bonynge.
  • 1947 Debut as Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (Sydney)
  • 1951 Moved to London
  • 1952 Joined Covent Garden and remained resident soprano for seven years
  • 1959 Won international fame with debut as Lucia di Lammermoor (Convent Garden)
  • 1986 Published: The Joan Sutherland Album (w. R Bonynge)
  • 1997 Published: A Prima Donna's Progress : the autobiography of Joan Sutherland

View the full record at Australian Women's Register

Dame Joan Sutherland, one of the greatest opera singers of the twentieth century, enjoyed immense success in all the world's major opera houses as a leading exponent of bel canto for over forty years. She also left an unsurpassed recording legacy, and her concert and recital repertoire was extensive. Educated at St Catherine's School, Waverley, Sutherland first studied singing in Sydney at home with her mother, a mezzo-soprano, and later trained formally with John and Aida Dickens. In 1947 she made her concert debut as the tragic heroine of Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. In 1950 she won Australia's most distinguished prize for singing, the Sun Aria Competition, and sang the world premiere of Eugene Goossens' Judith at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music in 1951. Only months later, Sutherland won a scholarship and moved to London to study with Clive Carey at the Royal College of Music. She joined the company of Covent Garden, making her Royal Opera debut on October 28, 1952, as the First Lady in Mozart's The Magic Flute. At first, Sutherland sang roles across the repertoire, often far from what would later become her domain. She was Helmwige in Wagner's Die Walkure, the Overseer in Richard Strauss' Elektra, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera and even the title role of Verdi's Aida, as well as Jennifer in the world premiere of Sir Michael Tippett's A Midsummer Marriage. In 1954, Sutherland married fellow Australian Richard Bonynge, then a brilliant young pianist and accompanist. Under his guidance, Sutherland began to specialise in bel canto operas of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. International recognition of her full vocal stature came with her appearance at Covent Garden in the title role of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor in February 1959, conducted by Tullio Serafin. Bonynge later became her regular conductor. Audiences and critics alike were awed by a voice of Wagnerian proportions producing the coloratura fireworks that the bel canto repertory demands. In Venice, after a performance of Handel's Alcina, she was hailed as "La Stupenda". Sutherland enjoyed immense success worldwide with her expanding repertoire. This included Bellini roles of Amina and Elvira (both 1960), Beatrice di Tenda (1961) and Norma (1963), and reviving Rossini's Semiramide (1962), Donizetti's La fille du regiment (1966), Maria Stuarda (1971), Lucrezia Borgia (1972) and Anna Bolena (1984). Among her Verdi roles were Violetta (1960), Leonora in Il trovatore (1975) and Amalia in I masnadieri (1980). Her Cleopatra in Handel's Giulio Cesare was considered outstanding. She also distinguished herself in French operas including Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots (1962), Faust (1965), Delibes' Lakme (1967) and Massenet's Esclarmonde (1974). In 1965 Sutherland brought her own company to Australia, the Sutherland-Williamson International Grand Opera Co., with Bonynge as musical director. She returned in 1974 to sing Les contes d'Hoffman with the Australian Opera. From 1976 she returned regularly to the Australian Opera in many of her greatest roles. Sutherland sang her last opera in 1990 in her home town, Sydney. At the end of the performance of Les Huguenots she stood before a background of fireworks spelling out "Farewell", festooned in streamers thrown by an enraptured audience. On New Year's Eve 1990 she made a surprise appearance at Covent Garden singing Home Sweet Home in the party scene of a televised performance of Die Fledermaus. In her retirement, Sutherland made a film appearance as Mum in On Our Selection, worked with young singers as a master teacher, and adjudicated singing competitions all over the world. Sutherland and Bonynge lived all over the world throughout their careers. They resided mostly in Chalet Monet, their home beside Lake Geneva, Switzerland, during their retirement.

Resources for Joan Sutherland

Selected resources (8)

Australian Women's Register

  1. Australian Performing Arts (PROMPT) Collection: Dame Joan Sutherland / Richard Bonynge
    Series: http://www.nla.gov.au/collect/prompt/sutherland.html
  2. A prima donna's progress : the autobiography of Joan Sutherland.
    Sutherland, Joan
    [1997]
    Published: Random House Australia
  3. Dame Joan Sutherland: La Stupenda
    Series: http://www.cygnet.co.uk/thedame/
  4. La Stupenda
    Adams, Brian
    [1993]
    Published: Random House Australia
  5. Joan Sutherland : the authorized biography
    Major, Norma
    [1994]
    Published: Little, Brown
  6. Faith, Hope and Charity Australian Women and Imperial Honours: 1901-1989
    Australian Women's Archives Project
    [2003]
    Published: Australian Women's Archives Project
    Series: http://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/honours/honours.html
  7. 100 great Australians
    Macklin, Robert
    [1983]
    Published: Currey O'Neil Ross
  8. DAME JOAN SUTHERLANDAustralians Behind the News, Australian Broadcasting Corporation : DAME JOAN SUTHERLAND
    [2002]
    Published: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    Series: http://www.abc.net.au/btn/australians/sutherla.htm

Resources by Joan Sutherland (54)

  1. La Stupenda. -Dame Joan Sutherland interviewed by Ercole, Ivano-
    Sutherland, Joan
    Opera Music and Dance
    [ Article : 1992 ]
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 12.41)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 12.41)

  2. Hazard / by Joan Sutherland
    Sutherland, Joan
    [ Book : 1945 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 7.555)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 7.555)

  3. Quote by Sutherland, Joan on Opera.(Quotation)
    Sutherland, Joan
    Quotations Book
    [ Article : 2010 ]
    View online (conditions apply)
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 7.322)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 7.322)

  4. The golden altar / by Joan Sutherland
    Sutherland, Joan
    [ Book : 1929 ]
    At 3 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 7.156)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 7.156)

  5. The enchanted country / by Joan Sutherland
    Sutherland, Joan
    [ Book : 1928-1932 ]
    Languages: English;Undetermined, [1 other]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6.757)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6.757)

  6. The knot / by Joan Sutherland
    Sutherland, Joan
    [ Book : 1928 ]
    At CARM Centre
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.735)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.735)

  7. Adrian Grey / by Joan Sutherland
    Sutherland, Joan
    [ Book : 1933 ]
    At State Library S Aust
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.735)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.735)

  8. Challenge / by Joan Sutherland
    Sutherland, Joan
    [ Book : 1925 ]
    At CARM Centre
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.735)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.735)

  9. Undertow / by Joan Sutherland
    Sutherland, Joan
    [ Book : 1931 ]
    At CARM Centre
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.735)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.735)

  10. Wynnegate sahib [Joan Sutherland]
    Sutherland, Joan
    [ Book : 1900-1993 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.512)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.512)

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Resources about Joan Sutherland (510)

  1. A prima donna's progress : the autobiography of Joan Sutherland
    Sutherland, Joan, 1926-2010
    [ Book, Audio book : 1997-2000 ]
    At 84 libraries
    A prima donna's progress : the autobiography of Joan Sutherland
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 47.396)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 47.396)

  2. Joan Sutherland [Russell Braddon]
    Braddon, Russell, 1921-1995
    [ Book : 1962-1969 ]
    Languages: English;Danish;Dutch, [2 others]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 50 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 44.273)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 44.273)

  3. The Joan Sutherland album / compiled by Joan Sutherland with Richard Bonynge
    Sutherland, Joan, 1926-2010
    [ Book : 1986 ]
    At 36 libraries
    The Joan Sutherland album / compiled by Joan Sutherland with Richard Bonynge
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 37.027)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 37.027)

  4. Joan Sutherland [Edward Greenfield]
    Greenfield, Edward
    [ Book, Audio book : 1900-1986 ]
    At 32 libraries
    Joan Sutherland [Edward Greenfield]
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 19.659)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 19.659)

  5. Joan Sutherland
    Lucano
    American Record Guide
    [ Article : 2004 ]
    View online (conditions apply)
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 9.386)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 9.386)

  6. Joan Sutherland.(Collections)
    Mark
    American Record Guide
    [ Article : 2004 ]
    View online (conditions apply)
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.812)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.812)

  7. Joan Sutherland Portrait.(Collections)
    Lucano
    American Record Guide
    [ Article : 2013 ]
    View online (conditions apply)
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.237)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.237)

  8. La Stupenda: Joan Sutherland. (Collections)
    Milazzo, Lee
    American Record Guide
    [ Article : 2002 ]
    View online (conditions apply)
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.237)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.237)

  9. La Stupenda: Joan Sutherland.(Videos)
    Parsons
    American Record Guide
    [ Article : 2013 ]
    View online (conditions apply)
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.236)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.236)

  10. Joan Sutherland, Vol 2
    LUCANO, RALPH V
    American Record Guide
    [ Article : 2001 ]
    View online (conditions apply)
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.236)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.236)

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  1. Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre (Penrith, N.S.W.)
    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.014)

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.014)

  2. Scaife, Joan Cicely (1923-)
    ... Joan Scaife was a once only candidate for election to the Legislative Assembly: a Liberal Party ...
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    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.004)

  3. Juncker, Aug W., (August W)
    ... London in 1894, and later Gladys Moncrieff and Joan Sutherland incorporated it into their repertoires ...
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    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.001)

  1. Music resources theme - ARIA Awards - Hall of fame - 2006
    Music resources theme - ARIA Awards - Hall of fame - 2006
    Created by NLAmusic, 4 items.

    The ARIA Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Awards are awarded at the discretion of the ARIA Board. Traditionally taking place during the music awards ceremony, ARIA has inducted artists as diverse...

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    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.058)

  2. Music resources theme - ARIA awards - Hall of fame - 2007
    Music resources theme - ARIA awards - Hall of fame - 2007
    Created by NLAmusic, 13 items.

    The ARIA Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Awards are awarded at the discretion of the ARIA Board. Traditionally taking place during the music awards ceremony, ARIA has inducted artists as diverse...

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.058)

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.058)

  3. Music resources theme - Australian Opera and Music Theatre - Divas and dames
    Music resources theme - Australian Opera and Music Theatre - Divas and dames
    Created by NLAmusic, 60 items.

    Explore the colour and spectacle of Australian opera and musical theatre, with a special feature on our most celebrated divas. Australia has a rich tradition of producing and welcoming great...

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    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.05)

  1. Joan Sutherland
    The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) Wednesday 13 February 1963 p 18 Article Illustrated
    ... When Joan Sutherland was very young and her school in Sydney was casting   its annual play, she ... , in 1926, Joan — who, at birth, weighed an ominous ll lb. The Sutherland house was an entrancing one ... 9751 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 12.168)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 12.168)

  2. Joan Sutherland PART FOUR
    The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) Wednesday 6 March 1963 p 17 Literature Illustrated
    ... Joan Sutherland PART FOUR For years many critics had recognised greatness in   Joan Sutherland ... such speed around the tennis court? FAITHFUL FAN. A German girl student greets Joan Sutherland as she ... 4991 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 11.045)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 11.045)

  3. JOAN SUTHERLAND AS "VIOLETTA"
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Thursday 14 January 1960 p 2 Article Illustrated
    ... JOAN SUTHERLAND AS "VIOLETTA" Joan Sutherland, the famed Australian soprano, and William Mc ... 55 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 9.683)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 9.683)

  1. Portrait of Joan Sutherland in Idom...
    McMurdo, Don, 1...
    [ Photograph : 1979 ]
  2. Portrait of Dame Joan Sutherland, 1...
    Franklin, David...
    [ Photograph : 1989 ]
    Portrait of Dame Joan Sutherland, 1989
  3. [Portrait of Joan Sutherland, June ...
    McMurdo, Don, 1...
    [ Photograph : 1985 ]
    [Portrait of Joan Sutherland, June 1985] Don McMurdo
  4. Portrait of Joan Sutherland in Idom...
    McMurdo, Don, 1...
    [ Photograph : 1979 ]
    Portrait of Joan Sutherland in Idomeneo, Australian Opera, 1979 / Don McMurdo
  5. Portrait of Joan Sutherland, Austra...
    McMurdo, Don, 1...
    [ Photograph : 1976-1998 ]
  6. [Portrait of Joan Sutherland in Sem...
    McMurdo, Don, 1...
    [ Photograph : 1983 ]
  1. Website: Opera great Joan Sutherland Dies. ABC News
    www.abc.net.au
    Matching pages:
    View 29 matching archived pages
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 3.876)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 3.876)

  2. Website: Centenary of Federation play kit
    historysmiths.com.au
    Matching pages:
    • SUTHERLAND, Joan - 24/1/2001
    • ...historysmiths.com.au/centfedplaykit/biogs/nature/sutherland_joan.htm...
    View 4 matching archived pages
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1.223)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1.223)

  3. Website: Larvatus Prodeo
    larvatusprodeo.net
    Matching pages:
    View 94 matching archived pages
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1.058)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1.058)

  1. [Biographical cuttings on Joan Sutherland, Dame, opera singer, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]
    [ Published : 1900-1990 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 9.35)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 9.35)

  2. Commemorative stamps
    Sutherland, Joan, 1926-2010
    [ Unpublished : 2004 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6.714)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6.714)

  3. [Sutherland, Joan (Dame) and Bonynge, Richard : theatre programs, ephemera / held in the PROMPT Collection, National Library of Australia]
    National Library of Australia
    [ Published : 1947 ]
    Possibly online
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.996)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.996)

  1. Broken nation : Australians in the Great War / Joan Beaumont
    Beaumont, Joan
    [ Book, Map : 2013-2014 ]
    Possibly online
    At 86 libraries
    Broken nation : Australians in the Great War / Joan Beaumont
    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.765)

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.765)

  2. The Parthenon enigma : a journey into legend / Joan Breton Connelly
    Connelly, Joan Breton, 1954-
    [ Book, Map : 2014 ]
    At 10 libraries
    The Parthenon enigma : a journey into legend / Joan Breton Connelly
    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.293)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.293)

  3. Joan of Arc : a history / Helen Castor
    Castor, Helen
    [ Book, Map : 2014-2015 ]
    At 10 libraries
    Joan of Arc : a history / Helen Castor
    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.269)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.269)

  1. Joan Sutherland : a tribute / Moffatt Oxenbould ; introductions by Richard Bonynge & The Earl of Harewood
    Oxenbould, Moffatt, 1943-
    [ Book : 1989 ]
    At 58 libraries
    Joan Sutherland : a tribute / Moffatt Oxenbould ; introductions by Richard Bonynge & The Earl of Harewood
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 27.391)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 27.391)

  2. La Stupenda : a biography of Joan Sutherland / Brian Adams
    Adams, Brian, 1934-
    [ Book : 1980-1986 ]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 58 libraries
    La Stupenda : a biography of Joan Sutherland / Brian Adams
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 26.027)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 26.027)

  3. Joan Sutherland / Norma Major ; introduction by Dame Joan Sutherland
    Major, Norma
    [ Book : 1987-1990 ]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 40 libraries
    Joan Sutherland / Norma Major ; introduction by Dame Joan Sutherland
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 22.275)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 22.275)

  4. Joan Sutherland : the authorized biography / Norma Major
    Major, Norma
    [ Book : 1967-1995 ]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 55 libraries
    Joan Sutherland : the authorized biography / Norma Major
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 17.431)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 17.431)

  1. La Stupenda : a portrait of Dame Joan Sutherland / written and directed by Derek Bailey ; produced in association with Omnibus ... [et al.] ; a Landseer production for RM Associates and Film Australia
    Film Australia
    [ Video, Sound : 1988-2012 ]
    At 23 libraries
    La Stupenda : a portrait of Dame Joan Sutherland / written and directed by Derek Bailey ; produced in association with Omnibus ... [et al.] ; a Landseer production for RM Associates and Film Australia
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 22.021)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 22.021)

  2. The art of Dame Joan Sutherland
    Sutherland, Joan, 1926-2010
    [ Sound : 1999 ]
    At 5 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 15.188)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 15.188)

  3. Joan Sutherland : the reluctant prima donna / an Iambic production for BBC Wales ; producer, Chris Hunt ; director, Steve Cole
    Iambic Productions
    [ Video : 2006-2008 ]
    At 18 libraries
    Joan Sutherland : the reluctant prima donna / an Iambic production for BBC Wales ; producer, Chris Hunt ; director, Steve Cole
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 13.447)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 13.447)

  4. The art of the prima donna
    Sutherland, Joan, 1926-2010
    [ Sound : 1960-2011 ]
    Languages: English;Italian;French;German, [3 others]
    At 8 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 12.651)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 12.651)

  1. Newsletter (Joan Sutherland Society of Sydney)
    Joan Sutherland Society of Sydney
    [ Periodical : 1979-2013 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 22.642)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 22.642)

  2. Opera great Joan Sutherland dies - ABC News
    [ Periodical, Archived website : 2010-2014 ]
    View online
    At 4 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 14.902)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 14.902)

  3. Joan Sutherland et Richard Bonynge: l'accord parfait. -An interview with Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge, in perfect harmony with each other, by Francis Lafon-
    Sutherland, Joan, Dame; Bonynge, Richard
    Monde de la Musique
    [ Article : 1986 ]
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 10.126)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 10.126)

  4. Sutherland, Dame Joan
    The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
    [ Article : 2000 ]
    View online (conditions apply)
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.104)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.104)