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U3A Writing: Joan Sutherland

Peter Wintersgill outlines the career of Australian opera star Joan Sutherland.

7th. November, 1926 in Sydney, Australia.

Studied in Sydney and at the Royal College of Music.

Adult life
Debut Sydney 1947 in Purcell's Dido & Aeneas. Covent Garden debut 1952, later sang Donizetti's Lucia 1959, Met debut 1961, also as Lucia. Married Richard Bonynge, who coached her. She created the role of Jennifer in Tippett's Midsummer Marriage 1955, and was the New Prioress in the English premiere of Poulenc's Carmelites.

She specialised in coloratura and bel canto roles, especially in Bellini and Donizetti. She also sang Handel roles, especially Alcina and Cleopatra.
She took her own opera company to Australia. She was created D.B.E. in 1979, and retired in 1990.


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