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Sutherland, Joan Alston (1926 - 2010)

Dame, OM, DBE

7 November 1926
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
10 October 2010
Montreux, Switzerland
Opera singer
Alternative Names
  • Bonynge, Joan


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.
Debut as Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (Sydney)
Moved to London
Joined Covent Garden and remained resident soprano for seven years
Won international fame with debut as Lucia di Lammermoor (Convent Garden)
Published: The Joan Sutherland Album (w. R Bonynge)
Published: A Prima Donna's Progress : the autobiography of Joan Sutherland

Sources used to compile this entry: Macklin, Robert, 100 great Australians, Currey O'Neil Ross, South Yarra, Vic., 1983, 248 pp; Oxenbould, Moffatt, 'A big voice with a heart to match - Dame Joan Sutherland 1926-2010', The Australian, 13 October 2010, p. 19.

Clare Land

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