Soprano Joan Sutherland was one of the greatest opera singers of all time. The youngest of three children, Sutherland showed an early interest in music and began taking piano lessons at the age of five. She later took up voice lessons and quickly developed a talent for singing. She had a successful career that spanned more than 50 years, and she was known for her powerful voice and dramatic performances.
After finishing high school, Sutherland enrolled in the conservatory at the University of Sydney. She studied there for two years before winning a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music in London. Sutherland made her professional debut in 1947 and soon established herself as one of the leading sopranos of her generation. She went on to enjoy a long and successful career, appearing at some of the world’s most prestigious opera houses
Sutherland’s most famous roles were in operas by Italian composers, such as Giuseppe Verdi and Vincenzo Bellini. She also sang a number of French operatic roles, such as Elisabeth in Charles Gounod’s Faust and Marguerite in Jules Massenet’s Werther.
After an illustrious career spanning four decades, Joan Sutherland retired from opera in 1990 at the age of 60. She made her final public appearance in a concert in Australia in 1991, after which she largely withdrew from public life.
Joan Sutherland was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1979 and made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1983. In 1992, she was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia. She received numerous other accolades and honorary degrees throughout her career.
Joan Sutherland was one of the most successful and popular sopranos of her time. She had a lengthy career, appearing in many of the world’s most prestigious opera houses. Though she retired from singing in 1990, she continued to make occasional appearances until her death in 2010.