Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Sutherlands in:
 • Cimetière de Clarens-Montreux
 • Montreux
 • District de la Riviera-Pays-d’Enhaut
 • Vaud
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In

Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.

Joan Sutherland
Birth: Nov. 7, 1926
City of Sydney
New South Wales, Australia
Death: Oct. 10, 2010
District de la Riviera-Pays-d’Enhaut
Vaud, Switzerland

Opera Singer. Called "La Stupenda", she was considered probably the foremost coloratura soprano of her generation. Raised in Sydney, she received her early vocal training from her mother, a respected mezzo soprano, made her concert debut as Dido in a 1947 performance of Henry Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas", and her 1951 operatic bow in Eugene Goosens' "Judith". Joan then used the prize money from a competition to finance further study in London; an admirer of the legendary Kirsten Flagstad, her initial ambition was to become a Wagnerian. She made her Covent Garden debut on October 28, 1952, as the First Lady in Mozart's "The Magic Flute", was heard as Clotilde to Maria Callas' "Norma" in Vincenzo Bellini's masterpiece, then assumed her first major role as Amelia from Giuseppe Verdi's "Un Ballo in Maschera". A regular at the Royal Opera over the next few seasons, she was Frasquita in Bizet's "Carmen", the title lead of Verdi's "Aida", Desdemona from the same composer's "Otello", and Eva in Wagner's "Die Meistersinger", as well as Jenifer in the 1955 world premiere of Sir Michael Tippett's "The Midsummer Marriage". Having met conductor and bel canto authority Richard Bonynge at the Royal College of Music and married him in 1954, Joan slowly began preparing to take on the dramatic coloratura repertoire that Bonynge felt was her true forte. She was heard as the doll Olympia in Offenbach's "The Tales of Hoffman", then on February 17, 1959, was much acclaimed in what would become her signature piece, the doomed title heroine in a new production of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" under the baton of Maestro Tullio Serafin. Building a major career despite chronic sinus and dental problems, she was soon heard in two Bellini roles, Elvira in "I Puritani" and Amina from "La Sonnambula", received the sobriquet "La Stupenda" from Venetian audiences in 1960, made her 1960 American debut at Dallas as Handel's "Alcina", then used Lucia as the vehicle for several significant first appearances, among them the Paris Opera on April 25, 1960, La Scala Milano on May 14, 1961, and New York's Metropolitan Opera on November 6, 1961. Vancouver audiences heard her initial "Norma" in 1963 and in 1966 Covent Garden was the venue for her first assumption of the role of Marie in Donizetti's "The Daughter of the Regiment", an opera in which she was to have much-praised pairings with both Luciano Pavarotti and Alfredo Kraus. Dame Joan sang at the Metropolitan for 26 seasons the standard coloratura roles and such other fare as Violetta in Verdi's "La Traviata" and Leonore from the same artist's "Il Trovatore"; for many years she was the reigning diva of tha Australian Opera while her husband was the music director. Named Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 1974 and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1979, she was invested with the rarely given Order of Merit (OM) in 1991. She made her final public appearance in a New Year's Eve 1990 Covent Garden performance of Johann Strauss II's "Die Feldermaus" In her later years, Dame Joan taught master classes, served as a competition judge, and divided her time between her homes in Switzerland and Australia. Her recorded legacy, including two complete "Lucias", is massive. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
Family links: 
  William MacDonald Sutherland (1869 - 1932)
Joan Sutherland Bonynge
1926 - 2010
Cimetière de Clarens-Montreux
District de la Riviera-Pays-d’Enhaut
Vaud, Switzerland
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Oct 14, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 60074686
Joan Sutherland
Joan Sutherland
Added by: John Milner
Joan Sutherland
Added by: John Milner
There are 3 more photos not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Penny Hawk
 Added: Jun. 17, 2017
She truly was la stupenda
- Nick Kantner
 Added: Jun. 5, 2017
- Ronald Walton
 Added: Jun. 4, 2017
There are 174 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.1 after 94 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service