Segments in this Video

Introduction: Joan Sutherland (02:58)


Born in Australia, Joan Sutherland became queen of the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, and La Scala. The mezzo-soprano entered competitions until she earned a chance to go to London. Richard Bonynge trained Sutherland in extending her voice. (Credits)

Sutherland: Childhood (03:11)

Born in 1926 to a stone-deaf tailor and a trained mezzo-soprano, Sutherland grew up listening to Enrico Caruso. Sutherland left school at the age of 16 to earn money for the family.

Sutherland: Education (06:00)

Sutherland won a singing competition where she could study under John and Aida Dickens. The soprano portrayed Dido in "Dido and Aeneas" and won the Sun Aria Competition. After winning the Mobil Quest prize, she traveled to London, studied at the Royal College of Music, and joined the chorus at the Royal Opera House.

Sutherland: Career Beginnings (05:30)

Sutherland portrayed roles in "The Magic Flute," "Norma," "Carmen," and "Aida." Sutherland became the queen of bel canto at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Bonynge and the soprano argued over what type of roles she should portray and changing her technique.

Sutherland: Flourishing Career (03:02)

Adam Bonynge was born in 1956. Sutherland became a Decca an exclusive recording artist and changed her voice to pure soprano. Franco Zeffirelli cast Sutherland in "Lucia di Lammermoor."

Sutherland: Surgery (05:02)

Sutherland underwent an operation on her sinuses. The soprano performed at Dallas, Glyndebourne Festival, Royal Opera House, and at La Fenice. As the notes got higher, Sutherland's voice grew louder.

Sutherland: Global Performances (03:51)

Sutherland performed her debut at the Metropolitan Opera after learning her mother died. The audience gave her a standing ovation that lasted 12 minutes. Sutherland won a Grammy award for "The Art of the Primadonna" and toured Australia with Luciano Pavarotti.

Sutherland: Partnerships (02:16)

Contracts stipulate that Bonynge conducts Sutherland's performances. Directors include George Solti and Zubin Mehta. Sutherland and Marilyn Horne sing "Norma" at the Met in 1970.

Sutherland: Soaring Career (02:38)

Sutherland likes to perform comedic roles because they were so rare. She is elevated to Dame Commander of the British Empire and performs the title role in "Lucrezia Borgia" at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

Sutherland: Final Appearances (02:34)

Horne and Sutherland sing the Royal gala concert. Sutherland and Pavarotti perform their favorite roles for the Met. Opera Australia's version of the "The Merry Widow" has performances at the Kennedy Center and in New York City.

Sutherland: Retirement (06:50)

Sutherland withdraws from an opera because her voice becomes strained. She appeared in Die Fledermaus on New Year's Eve with Pavarotti and Horne. Experts discuss her legacy and impact.

Credits: Joan Sutherland (00:35)

Credits: Joan Sutherland

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Joan Sutherland

Part of the Series : Legends of Opera
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This episode features classic moments in the career of opera legend Joan Sutherland. Filmed in in the United Kingdom and Italy, this episode features historical archive, performance highlights, and contributions from artists, critics and directors.

Length: 45 minutes

Item#: BVL182985

ISBN: 978-1-64481-832-9

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.